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Too Hot to Handle

(1938 b 107')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Two newsreel cameramen compete for scoops using a pretty pilot, who is trying to find her brother in South America.

Gabby MacArthur (Walter Connolly) wants Chris Hunter (Clark Gable) to cover the war in China for newsreels while his competitor Pearly Todd (Henry Kolker) has Bill Dennis (Walter Pidgeon) there. Chris distracts Bill and films planes bombing but falls in the mud. Chris has Chinese play a scene with a model plane. Bill learns he was scooped by fakery. Bill hires a plane, but Chris interferes and rescues pilot Alma Harding (Myrna Loy). At the hospital Bill uses soldiers to take Chris's film from Joselito (Leo Carrillo). Alma tells Chris she is searching for her brother Harry. Chris gets her to think he was fired by Gabby for burning the film. Alma helps Chris by going to New York to explain to Gabby, who hires her and agrees to finance her trip to find Harry.

Gabby calls Chris to bring in Alma, because Todd got his Shanghai film. Alma and Chris fly to find a burning ship, and from the wing Chris films it blowing up. Bill blackmails Chris into sharing his film, and Chris blackmails Gabby into cooperating. Chris has Alma narrate the newsreel, but she breaks down until he kisses her. Gabby learns he is divorced and calls Todd. At a banquet Todd shows the Shanghai film of Alma saying it is all a fake and of Chris saying he will exploit Alma. She admits her mistake and stalks out angry at Chris, who can't stop her.

Chris and Bill pawn their cameras. Joselito goes to Alma as a South American with a check to help find her brother. Chris and Bill see Alma leave on a boat with a plane. Chris has Joselito take a compass to Gabby. Bill learns that Chris got his camera back. Bill in a disguise goes with Harry's "wife and daughter" to learn from Gabby where Alma went. Bill and Alma greet Chris and Joselito and ask about the compass. A native gives Alma Harry's watch, and Bill exposes the compass gag as a trick. Alma flies with Bill while Chris and Joselito take the native in a canoe. The native escapes, wounded by Joselito. Chris films natives dancing. He and Joselito show them a film as magic, and Chris rescues Harry. Chris finds Joselito is captured and treats Harry for malaria. Joselito and Chris dress like witch doctors as Alma and Bill land and film them. Alma cares for Harry, and Chris takes Bill's camera. As Bill carries Harry, the native arrives and says Chris and Joselito are not gods. Chris and Joselito hold on to the plane, but Bill shoots at them. In the final scenes Todd shows Bill a photo of the rescue, and Alma realizes that it was Chris. Alma finds Chris filming a shoot-out and joins him.

This adventurous comedy satirizes the competition among news organizations and cameramen in capturing events throughout the world. Blackmail, deception, and other tricks are used to attain success.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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