Friday, June 1, 2018

Love is blooming in 'Rough Necking'

Rough Necking (1934)
Starring: June Brewster, Carol Tevis, Grady Sutton, Spencer Charters, and George Chandler
Director: George Stevens
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

After her domineering father (Charters) forbids June (Brewster) from seeing her boyfriend Grady (Sutton), her younger sister Carol (Tevis) convinces Grady to disguise himself as a woman and visit June right under their father's nose. Complications arise when both the father and a male house guest (Chandler) decide to make romantic overtures to the cross-dressing Grady.


"Rough Necking" is one of those comedies where it's a Bad Thing to think too hard about the events that are unfolding. The situation is very funny in the moment, but I foresee jailtime (or at least probation) for two of the characters when all is said and done.

Although that somewhat mood-spoiling thought was in the back of my mind, I still found this film to be very funny. The laugh-lines are plentiful, the physical comedy is well-choreographed and hilarious, the content is exactly as baudy as the punny title implies, and the ending is about as perfect as it can be. (But, like I said, I would hate to be some of these characters the following day.)

"Rough Necking" was the fifth in a series of comedic short films starring Carol Tevis and a troupe of performers. It has been made available to modern audiences on the Blondes and Redheads: Lost Comedy Classics DVD along with three other installments in the series.


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