20 Shots: Hot Saturday (1932)

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“It wasn’t until his twenty-first movie, in 1935… that Grant gave a truly solid and distinctive performance; until then he had been simply a very good-looking though fairly bland leading man.” – Peter Bogdanovich, Who The Hell’s In It.

Maybe that quote attests to the obscurity of Hot Saturday from 1932 (just released as part of Universal’s Pre-Code Hollywood Collection), because if the voracious movie-viewer Bogdanovich had been aware of it, he would have acknowleged that in this early Grant film (his seventh, according to IMDb), the Cary Grant character is already in full flower. He’s the sophistcated cad (“Romer”) who spoils the reputation of the small town’s most sought after ingenue (Nancy Carroll, who holds her own quite nicely) in a love quadrangle. It’s not a classic, but at an hour and ten minutes Hot Saturday moves along at a good clip, and in a rare move even in pre-code movies, the “bad girl” heroine ends up OK.

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