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Depression Lessons #5

George Raft delivers a speech to Joan Bennett that should be dripping with self-pity but instead soars with slang and speed.
I just watched a little bauble with George Raft and Joan Bennett which could only have been made during the Great Depression. If there's a how-to or a lesson embedded in this potso, cattywompus mixture of comedy and horror, it's beyond my limited powers of description. Wallace Ford gets brutally murdered; an old man dies of a broken heart in prison. We feel these deaths, the excruciating physical pain of them. In comes Joan Bennett and, surprise, we get a romantic comedy that never stops, that can't stop moving—She Couldn't Take It (1935) is the snake's hips. Raft gives this amazing speech to Joan that should be dripping with self-pity but instead soars because it's so quick and slangy—so maybe the lesson is speed, speed speed! The speech is a cliché about growing up poor and how it robbed him of the chance to be with a decent woman. And it makes you cry! Until a moment later when the conversation pulls up short with a gag in pig-latin.  

Part of our on-going series Depression Lessons.

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