Hard to Handle (1933)

71 or 76 mins | Comedy | 28 January 1933

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Cinematographer:

Barney McGill

Editor:

William Holmes

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's pre-release titles were The Inside and Bad Boy . According to FD , Carole Lombard was considered for the role which Mary Brian played. Contemporary sources all note James Cagney's promotion of Grapefruit Acres as a joke referring to the famous scene in which he hits Mae Clarke with a grapefruit in Public Enemy . The film was shot over thirty-one days and was made for a total cost of $189,000. Modern sources add to the crew credits: Makeup artist Perc Westmore; and to the cast credits: William H. Strauss ( Antique dealer ), Bess Flowers ( Merrill's secretary ), Lew Kelly ( Hash-slinger ), George Pat Collins ( Dance judge ), and Jack Crawford, Stanley Smith, and Mary ... More Less

The film's pre-release titles were The Inside and Bad Boy . According to FD , Carole Lombard was considered for the role which Mary Brian played. Contemporary sources all note James Cagney's promotion of Grapefruit Acres as a joke referring to the famous scene in which he hits Mae Clarke with a grapefruit in Public Enemy . The film was shot over thirty-one days and was made for a total cost of $189,000. Modern sources add to the crew credits: Makeup artist Perc Westmore; and to the cast credits: William H. Strauss ( Antique dealer ), Bess Flowers ( Merrill's secretary ), Lew Kelly ( Hash-slinger ), George Pat Collins ( Dance judge ), and Jack Crawford, Stanley Smith, and Mary Doran. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
19 Oct 32
p. 4.
Film Daily
3 Feb 33
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 32
p. 3.
International Photographer
Jan 33
p. 34.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Jan 33
pp. 26-27.
New York Times
2 Feb 33
p. 21.
Variety
7 Feb 33
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch cond
SOUND
SOURCES
SONGS
"M-O-T-H-E-R, a Word That Means the World to Me," words by Howard E. Johnson, music by Theodore F. Morse
"Grapefruit Acres," composer unknown.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bad Boy
The Inside
Release Date:
28 January 1933
Production Date:
began late October 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 February 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3622
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71 or 76
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

California promoter Myron C. "Lefty" Merrill is left holding the bag when his partner leaves town with the prize money for a marathon dance contest. Lefty is in love with the contest winner, Ruth Waters, but her widowed mother, Lil Waters, intends for her daughter to marry a rich man, not someone like Lefty. Determined to pay Ruth her share of the prize money, Lefty promotes a phony treasure hunt on the pier. He escapes with the entrance money just before a desperate mob destroys the pier looking for the promised prize, but learns that the Waters have left California for New York after illegally selling the furniture in their furnished apartment. Lefty follows the Waters east, where he discovers Ruth working as a model and dating wealthy fashion photographer John Hayden. After he watches Ruth struggle to rub in some sticky face cream, he imagines that all her efforts are burning calories and decides to promote it as a reducing cream. He solicits endorsements from society women and his campaign is extremely successful. Lil now considers Lefty to be a good match, but Ruth refuses to marry him until she knows how success will affect him. Lefty takes a job promoting a backwater college, and his success earns him an honorary degree and the attentions of student Marlene Reeves. Marlene's father, Charles, hires Lefty to promote Grapefruit Acres, a development in Florida. Lefty asks Ruth to accompany him and marry him there, but she refuses, saying that they will be married when he returns to New York. Later she and Lil decide to surprise Lefty in Florida, but ... +


California promoter Myron C. "Lefty" Merrill is left holding the bag when his partner leaves town with the prize money for a marathon dance contest. Lefty is in love with the contest winner, Ruth Waters, but her widowed mother, Lil Waters, intends for her daughter to marry a rich man, not someone like Lefty. Determined to pay Ruth her share of the prize money, Lefty promotes a phony treasure hunt on the pier. He escapes with the entrance money just before a desperate mob destroys the pier looking for the promised prize, but learns that the Waters have left California for New York after illegally selling the furniture in their furnished apartment. Lefty follows the Waters east, where he discovers Ruth working as a model and dating wealthy fashion photographer John Hayden. After he watches Ruth struggle to rub in some sticky face cream, he imagines that all her efforts are burning calories and decides to promote it as a reducing cream. He solicits endorsements from society women and his campaign is extremely successful. Lil now considers Lefty to be a good match, but Ruth refuses to marry him until she knows how success will affect him. Lefty takes a job promoting a backwater college, and his success earns him an honorary degree and the attentions of student Marlene Reeves. Marlene's father, Charles, hires Lefty to promote Grapefruit Acres, a development in Florida. Lefty asks Ruth to accompany him and marry him there, but she refuses, saying that they will be married when he returns to New York. Later she and Lil decide to surprise Lefty in Florida, but they are surprised instead when they discover him having breakfast in Marlene's hotel room. After Lefty is arrested for false advertising because no one actually wants to buy grapefruit, he begins a campaign extolling the eighteen-day grapefruit diet, and soon the charges are dropped. Then when Lil tells him that Ruth is marry to Hayden, Lefty tricks her into admitting that she really loves him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.