Just a Gigolo (1931)

66-67 or 71 mins | Drama | 6 June 1931

Director:

Jack Conway

Cinematographer:

Oliver T. Marsh

Editor:

Frank Sullivan

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Pre-release titles for this film were Dancing Partner and The Princess and the Dancer . The play Dancing Partner was produced by David Belasco and opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey in late Jul 1930 prior to its New York engagement. Irene Purcell reprised her role in the play for the picture. A Mar 1931 M-G-M studio cast sheet listed Lena Stengel in the part that was played by Maria Alba. Modern sources note that William Haines not only starred in the film, but handled the art direction as well.
       According to censorship material in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in Mar 1931 the Hays Office warned M-G-M that it was troubled by the too plainly stated intentions of "Lord Brummel" in a scene in which he says that he plans to seduce "Roxana" within a month's time. The Hays Office told M-G-M production chief Irving Thalberg that "the case is too bluntly stated and that it should be so phrased as to permit two interpretations; that is, the scene should be so worded as to allow the sophisticated to grasp the present meaning, while to all others it will simply mean that Robert is going to put Roxy under observation for a month to find out whether or not she is really all her uncle says she is." The office also recommended many other changes in the script, including the removal of a scene showing "Roxana" changing from her dress into pajamas; dialogue suggesting an improper act at a dentist office visit; and "the shot of a cherub on the fountain, 'using nature's method of adding to ... More Less

Pre-release titles for this film were Dancing Partner and The Princess and the Dancer . The play Dancing Partner was produced by David Belasco and opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey in late Jul 1930 prior to its New York engagement. Irene Purcell reprised her role in the play for the picture. A Mar 1931 M-G-M studio cast sheet listed Lena Stengel in the part that was played by Maria Alba. Modern sources note that William Haines not only starred in the film, but handled the art direction as well.
       According to censorship material in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in Mar 1931 the Hays Office warned M-G-M that it was troubled by the too plainly stated intentions of "Lord Brummel" in a scene in which he says that he plans to seduce "Roxana" within a month's time. The Hays Office told M-G-M production chief Irving Thalberg that "the case is too bluntly stated and that it should be so phrased as to permit two interpretations; that is, the scene should be so worded as to allow the sophisticated to grasp the present meaning, while to all others it will simply mean that Robert is going to put Roxy under observation for a month to find out whether or not she is really all her uncle says she is." The office also recommended many other changes in the script, including the removal of a scene showing "Roxana" changing from her dress into pajamas; dialogue suggesting an improper act at a dentist office visit; and "the shot of a cherub on the fountain, 'using nature's method of adding to the water fountain.'"
       Two weeks prior to the release of the film, Col. Jason S. Joy of the Hays Office wrote "I have seen Dancing Partner and am not able to determine whether it is good or bad. If it is thought of as light frothy fun, it is all right but if it is thought of as a serious problem, it is bad." The MPAA/PCA files also indicate that the film was rejected by censor boards in Ireland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia, which rejected the film because of the "light treatment of immoral sex subjects." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
14 Jun 31
p. 16.
HF
21 Mar 31
p. 24.
HF
25 Apr 31
p. 24.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Apr 31
p. 36.
New York Times
13 Jun 31
p. 20.
Variety
16 Jun 31
p. 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Adpt and dial
Adpt and dial
Adpt and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on a German play by Alexander Engel and Alfred Grünwald, adapted into English by Frederic and Fanny Hatton as Dancing Partner (New York, 5 Aug 1930).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dancing Partner
The Princess and the Dancer
Release Date:
6 June 1931
Production Date:
12 March--late April 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
8 June 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2281
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66-67 or 71
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Paris, known by many as "London's love nest," is the home of philandering Englishman Lord Robert Brummel and his uncle, Lord George Hampton. George calls his nephew a scamp because he has mishandled his finances and has become involved in numerous well-publicized affairs with married women. He then tells his nephew that he has arranged a meeting between Robert and his creditors in order to solve his money problems. Instead of going to the meeting, however, Robert spends time with his latest lover, Lady Agatha Carrol. When George learns that Robert did not see his creditors, he decides to punish him by cutting off his funds and insisting that he marry Roxana Hartley, the daughter of his upper-crust friend, Lady Jane Hartley. Robert, who believes that all women, especially married ones, cannot be trusted, is so sure that Roxana will be unfaithful to him, that he makes a bet with his uncle that he can prove it. If in thirty days, Robert cannot prove that Roxana is susceptible to the temptations of having an affair with another man while she is engaged to him, he promises he will marry her. Certain that Roxana will behave as all wives do, Robert tries to prove his theory by posing as a professional dancing partner named Mr. Jolie, and seducing her. Meanwhile, George visits Lady Jane Hartley in Biarritz to discuss the marriage, and is introduced to Roxana, whom he has not seen since she was a child. George marvels at how she has matured from a meek and demure child into a spirited young woman. She is so spirited, in fact, that she ... +


Paris, known by many as "London's love nest," is the home of philandering Englishman Lord Robert Brummel and his uncle, Lord George Hampton. George calls his nephew a scamp because he has mishandled his finances and has become involved in numerous well-publicized affairs with married women. He then tells his nephew that he has arranged a meeting between Robert and his creditors in order to solve his money problems. Instead of going to the meeting, however, Robert spends time with his latest lover, Lady Agatha Carrol. When George learns that Robert did not see his creditors, he decides to punish him by cutting off his funds and insisting that he marry Roxana Hartley, the daughter of his upper-crust friend, Lady Jane Hartley. Robert, who believes that all women, especially married ones, cannot be trusted, is so sure that Roxana will be unfaithful to him, that he makes a bet with his uncle that he can prove it. If in thirty days, Robert cannot prove that Roxana is susceptible to the temptations of having an affair with another man while she is engaged to him, he promises he will marry her. Certain that Roxana will behave as all wives do, Robert tries to prove his theory by posing as a professional dancing partner named Mr. Jolie, and seducing her. Meanwhile, George visits Lady Jane Hartley in Biarritz to discuss the marriage, and is introduced to Roxana, whom he has not seen since she was a child. George marvels at how she has matured from a meek and demure child into a spirited young woman. She is so spirited, in fact, that she has taken up with a young gigolo named Mr. Jolie, who is soon introduced to the shocked uncle. After they share a dance, Roxana and Mr. Jolie go into the garden, where she tells her friends that her escort is just a gigolo, and then leaves him. Later, Robert cleverly arranges a private meeting with Roxana by the lake, but when she shows no interest in him, he decides to make her jealous by pretending to talk to her friend Gwenny. His ploy works, and Roxana later agrees to picnic with Robert. On their date, Robert begins to tell Roxana that he loves her, when a swarm of bees attack them and they are forced to take cover under a blanket. On the thirtieth day of Robert's wager, with only eight hours left to prove Roxana's natural inclination towards unfaithfulness, Robert makes preparations for his last attempt to seduce her, which will take place at her private dance lesson with Jolie. When Roxana learns that Jolie has been giving other women private dance lessons, she becomes jealous and angry. Robert makes one last-minute attempt to seduce her, but when he sees her resolve to remain faithful to her future husband, he realizes that he has lost his bet. However, when Roxana learns from her maid Pauline that Mr. Jolie is not really a gigolo, but rather a lord, she immediately decides to teach him a lesson. Feigning a renewed and lustful interest in Robert, Roxana accepts his invitation to take a private flight to San Sebastian. Once there, Robert shows his displeasure and surprise that she has succumbed to his advances, but soon plays into her plan by flirting with her. The moment he does so, she slaps him, exposes his lies and tells him that she despises him. Robert, having learned his lesson, begs her forgiveness, and the two kiss. +

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

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