Movie Mirrors Index

The Affairs of Annabel

(1938 b 68')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A zealous press agent gets an actress to go to prison and work as a maid to publicize her latest movies.

Press agent Lannie Morgan (Jack Oakie) suggests that actress Annabel Allison (Lucille Ball) go to prison for publicity. Annabel complains and gets out to find Morgan with no reporters. Annabel insists that producer Webb (Bradley Page) fire Morgan, who has an actress play his mother for sympathy. Annabel then tells Webb to rehire Morgan. Secretary Josephine (Ruth Donnelly) continually anticipates Webb. Because of a new script, Morgan wants Annabel to work as a maid. He calls a number, hires the maid Scarlet, and gets Mrs. Fletcher (Elisabeth Risdon) to hire Annabel. Morgan sells Annabel on the script, and she reports to Mrs. Fletcher and meets her son Robert (Lee Van Atta) and brother Major (Thurston Hall), who is inventing a way to keep dishes from breaking.

Annabel calls and complains to Morgan, who arrives selling brushes. The Russian director Vladimir (Fritz Feld) barges into Webb's office. Annabel tells Morgan to deliver stuffed squab. Robert says that he likes Annabel, and Mrs. Fletcher hints to her husband (Granville Bates) to talk to him about sex. Morgan delivers dinner, and Major brings Bailey and Martin as house guests. Mr. Fletcher sees news photos of Bailey and Martin as kidnappers; they have guns and won't let anyone leave. Morgan calls and goes there. Policeman Muldoon (James Burke) comes to the door with Morgan. Annabel signals to Muldoon to come in, but Mrs. Ferguson gets rid of him. Bailey takes Annabel to pick up money, and she leaves stolen money on a counter.

Webb fires Morgan, and Vladimir wants to direct a picture with realism. Webb is getting a massage while listening to writers with few ideas. Morgan calls casting for fifty policemen and has Vladimir direct. Police approach the house and shoot blanks but run from real bullets. Muldoon caresses a maid and hears shots. Morgan comes in and hits Major with a plate that doesn't break. Cops arrive and detain Vladimir as a lunatic. Annabel clings to Morgan. Bailey and Martin come out behind Annabel and Morgan. Annabel uses judo to flip one, and Morgan bites the other. Annabel gets publicity for capturing them. Webb says the title has changed to "The Diamond Smuggler," and Morgan gets Annabel arrested with stolen diamonds.

This comedy satirizes Hollywood publicity stunts and melodramas involving gangsters.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index