Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sally Eilers, James Dunn, Minna Gombell, Frank Darien, Paul Fix, Sarah Padden, William Pawley
Written by: Edwin J. Burke, based on a novel/play by Viña Delmar
Directed by: Frank Borzage
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 90
Date: 08/13/1931

Bad Girl (1931)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Settling Down

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

By 1931, director Frank Borzage was thinking of leaving Fox. He had had talkies thrust upon him as well as this wretched, controversial story -- which was then smoothed out into censor-approved mush (there is no longer a "bad girl" in the story) -- but he somehow made it into gold. The film won two Oscars, including a second Best Director trophy for Borzage. Sally Eilers stars as Dorothy, a model who is sick of men flirting with her. She becomes fascinated with Eddie (James Dunn) a tough-talking nut who refuses to flirt. Eventually they marry, and Eddie winds up giving up his dream of opening a radio shop in order to support his wife in style. When she turns up pregnant, neither partner knows what to make of it, nor what to say to one another. As with his other films, Borzage delves to the emotional center and finds lovely nuggets of hope and love (the film has no villains). Minna Gombell plays Dorothy's wisecracking best friend.

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