|Mae in full flow|
Here she’s ranges from delicious to quite demented in a vehicle high on laughs and improbable, knowing, narrative. She’s not really a devil but she pretends to be…
|Edward Jobson and Rudolph Valentino|
Back home she lives with her mother and Uncle Barney McGuire (Richard Cummings) with her father Patrick (Harry Rattenbury) seemingly too lazy to be bothered even living with either child or wife?
|Ma,Uncle Barney and Mary|
Meanwhile, over at the out of town Peach Tree Inn, manager Larry McKean (William V. Mong) is trying to think of the big idea that will save the joint from closing. Talking with aged owner Mr Musk (Burt Woodruff) and his wife (Martha Mattox) he comes up with the idea of a new jazzier approach led by a woman with a dark past (and a bright future…). He’s looking to bring a touch of sophisticated sleaze to the suburbs.
|"A good future for a girl with a past."|
Mary turns up at the auditions to find Larry rapidly offending a long line of dancers thereby narrowing the odds to an elegant tall woman (Gertrude Astor) applying too much foundation and Mary who stands below the lady grabbing as much of the cast-off dust as she can.
|Larry falls for it... never sell to a salesman eh?|
Mary’s opening night is a hoot as she descends down the Peach Trees long staircase to perform the Peacock Walk; her own creation. For all her moves, Murray plays this for laughs, especially as she almost gets stuck after bending over backwards just a little too far.
|The Peacock Walk almost ends with a cramped crab...|
Jimmy romances Mary and all looks good until Dad tries to show her up at a dinner party – he thinks she’ll drink too much and make a fool of herself but Mary doesn’t drink – not even to maintain her exotic cover story – and she doesn’t rise to the bait, much to her dark-eyed boyfriend’s pleasure.
|What an absolute cad!|
|Mary and Jimmy eat carefully...|
Will Mary get revealed as a good girl with a bad future and will gentleman Jimmy manage to win her in the face of the Duke’s aggressive persistence… even if he does will his father let him marry so far below his station? There’s a lengthy car chase, some fisticuffs and a chance reunion that combine to settle things in a frantic closing section.
|Crickey, Jimmie's a bit macho ain't he?!|
Mr Valentino performs longing looks to no doubt dazzling effect in spite of the heavy make-up of the time. It’s Murray’s film but clearly we’re going to see a lot more of him!
I watched the Milestone DVD (the film is on a double disc with Swanson Valentino film Beyond the Rocks) which features a sprightly performance of a 1922 cue sheet by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra! Milestone and Mount Alto always do right by these precious little devils.