My Weakness (1933)

74 mins | Musical comedy | 29 September 1933

Director:

David Butler

Writer:

B. G. DeSylva

Cinematographer:

Arthur Miller

Editor:

Irene Morra

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was That's My Weakness . In some scenes, characters converse in rhyme. In one sequence, toy animals are made to seem to be singing the song "You Can Be Had"; photographs of four Fox stars, Will Rogers, Clara Bow, Warner Baxter and Janet Gaynor, are then shown in a fan magazine, and voices either of these stars or persons imitating them are heard singing the song; in addition, a statue of Rodin's The Thinker sings some of the song. In the scene that ends as the character "Gerald" says to the character "Maxie," "Let's be gay," the sound in the print viewed was diminished dramatically as those words are spoken.
       This was European musical star Lilian Harvey's first released American film. According to reviews for My Lips Betray , also produced by Fox in 1933 (see above), that film was shot first, but it was held back until after the release of My Weakness because the latter was judged to be the stronger vehicle for her. This was Sid Silvers' first film. According to Var , because Silvers, who appeared in producer Buddy DeSylva's Broadway hit Take a Chance the previous season, wrote some additional dialogue and other material for that show, DeSylva promised him "a break in pictures." Mary Rogers, the daughter of Fox star Will Rogers, made her screen debut in a bit role in this film, according to news items. Pre-production news items state that June Vlasek (later known as June Lang) and Boots Mallory were to have featured roles in this film, but their participation ... More Less

The working title of this film was That's My Weakness . In some scenes, characters converse in rhyme. In one sequence, toy animals are made to seem to be singing the song "You Can Be Had"; photographs of four Fox stars, Will Rogers, Clara Bow, Warner Baxter and Janet Gaynor, are then shown in a fan magazine, and voices either of these stars or persons imitating them are heard singing the song; in addition, a statue of Rodin's The Thinker sings some of the song. In the scene that ends as the character "Gerald" says to the character "Maxie," "Let's be gay," the sound in the print viewed was diminished dramatically as those words are spoken.
       This was European musical star Lilian Harvey's first released American film. According to reviews for My Lips Betray , also produced by Fox in 1933 (see above), that film was shot first, but it was held back until after the release of My Weakness because the latter was judged to be the stronger vehicle for her. This was Sid Silvers' first film. According to Var , because Silvers, who appeared in producer Buddy DeSylva's Broadway hit Take a Chance the previous season, wrote some additional dialogue and other material for that show, DeSylva promised him "a break in pictures." Mary Rogers, the daughter of Fox star Will Rogers, made her screen debut in a bit role in this film, according to news items. Pre-production news items state that June Vlasek (later known as June Lang) and Boots Mallory were to have featured roles in this film, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Sep 33
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Sep 33
p. 8.
Harrison's Reports
30 Sep 33
p. 155.
HH
18 May 33
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 33
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Aug 33
p. 34.
Motion Picture Daily
19 Jul 33
p. 10.
Motion Picture Daily
23 Sep 33
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Sep 33
p. 40, 42
New York Times
22 Sep 33
p. 14.
New York Times
10-Jan-37
---
Variety
26 Sep 33
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A B. G. DeSylva Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Story and dial
Addl dial
Addl dial
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Still photog
SOURCES
SONGS
"Gather Lip Rouge While You May," "Be Careful" and "How Do I Look," music and lyrics by B. G. DeSylva, Leo Robin and Richard Whiting.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
That's My Weakness
Release Date:
29 September 1933
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 21 September 1933
Production Date:
mid July--mid August 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 September 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4148
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74
Length(in feet):
6,737
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Above the clouds, Dan Cupid exits a heart-shaped door in his house. While sitting on a cloud and speaking to the audience, he shoots arrows into a couple sitting together in the world below on a park bench, who then emphatically embrace. Cupid then relates the difficulty that he is having in getting his arrows into a young playboy, Ronnie Gregory, whose wealthy uncle Ellery is the president of a successful brassiere factory. At the suggestion of Ellery's fiancée, Jane Holman, angry that Ronnie earlier resisted her advances, Ellery stops Ronnie's income. As Ronnie and Ellery argue about women, Ellery's hotel maid, Looloo Blake, listens, and when Ronnie spouts his belief that he could take any girl and, with a little transforming, marry her into the social register, Looloo begs him to use her to perform the feat. Ellery challenges Ronnie and offers to restore his income if he succeeds, but Ronnie, thinking Looloo to be extremely unattractive, refuses. However, when Ellery's stuck-up son Gerald, whose only pleasures are collecting stamps and eating raw carrots, refuses to talk to his father on Ronnie's behalf, Ronnie vows to marry him to Looloo. With eight of his girl friends, Ronnie forms a "get-your-man" committee to give Looloo training in clothes, conversation, dancing, poise, "handling bad boys," manners, and other needed skills. Two months later, as Ronnie is nearly overcome with bills from the experiment, Looloo, who has fallen in love with him, prepares to meet Gerald at a fashion show, which he attends for business reasons. As Ronnie shows Looloo how to kiss, Cupid encourages the couple, but their passionate rehearsal is interrupted ... +


Above the clouds, Dan Cupid exits a heart-shaped door in his house. While sitting on a cloud and speaking to the audience, he shoots arrows into a couple sitting together in the world below on a park bench, who then emphatically embrace. Cupid then relates the difficulty that he is having in getting his arrows into a young playboy, Ronnie Gregory, whose wealthy uncle Ellery is the president of a successful brassiere factory. At the suggestion of Ellery's fiancée, Jane Holman, angry that Ronnie earlier resisted her advances, Ellery stops Ronnie's income. As Ronnie and Ellery argue about women, Ellery's hotel maid, Looloo Blake, listens, and when Ronnie spouts his belief that he could take any girl and, with a little transforming, marry her into the social register, Looloo begs him to use her to perform the feat. Ellery challenges Ronnie and offers to restore his income if he succeeds, but Ronnie, thinking Looloo to be extremely unattractive, refuses. However, when Ellery's stuck-up son Gerald, whose only pleasures are collecting stamps and eating raw carrots, refuses to talk to his father on Ronnie's behalf, Ronnie vows to marry him to Looloo. With eight of his girl friends, Ronnie forms a "get-your-man" committee to give Looloo training in clothes, conversation, dancing, poise, "handling bad boys," manners, and other needed skills. Two months later, as Ronnie is nearly overcome with bills from the experiment, Looloo, who has fallen in love with him, prepares to meet Gerald at a fashion show, which he attends for business reasons. As Ronnie shows Looloo how to kiss, Cupid encourages the couple, but their passionate rehearsal is interrupted by Looloo's beau Maxie, a stupid, but likable taxi driver whom she has tried to disinterest. At the fashion show, according to plan, Looloo piques Gerald's interest by talking about her stamp collecting, but he fails to succumb when she tries to romance him with a song and a kiss. However, when she then brandishes a raw carrot and admits, "they're my weakness," Gerald, bowled over that her weakness is his weakness, kisses her passionately and repeatedly until the bench on which they sit topples over. He then proposes that they get a bunch of carrots and make a night of it. Hurt at Ronnie's lack of interest in her, Looloo vows to find his weakness. After the women give Looloo tips on how to get Gerald to propose, she uses them, to no avail, on Ronnie, whose only concerned is that he is going bankrupt because of her. Because Gerald, due to his infatuation, lets business slide, Ellery follows him to Looloo's apartment. Thinking that Ronnie was jealous of Jane's attraction to Ellery, Looloo then gets Ellery to fall for her. Looloo tells Ronnie that his uncle is in love with her, hoping that he will confess that he loves her, but Ronnie is thrilled that Ellery is no longer interested in Jane. Furious now with all men, Looloo tells both Gerald and Maxie to get out of her life. In tears, Gerald finds Maxie, also crying, on the running board of his taxi and asks for advice on how to commit suicide. Maxie takes Gerald to Gordoni, a gangster, and instructs Gerald to hit him, but Gordoni only slugs Gerald back, and he falls on Maxie. The two men cry together on the running board, and when they discover that they both love the same woman, Gerald, to comfort Maxie, states that things are not so bad and suggests "let's be gay." Meanwhile, Ronnie has not been able to eat or sleep, but he will not listen when his valet suggests that he is fond of Looloo. Looloo gently tells Ellery that she cannot marry him because of the difference in their ages and packs to leave, but Ronnie, who has decided to go to work for his uncle, now asks Looloo for a position working nights as her "personal slave." He admits that he loves her and asks forgiveness for having taken so long to find out. They kiss and Cupid, rejoicing, winks at the audience and warns them that he will do the same "to you and you and you." +

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.