Film of the Month

Going Gay (1933)

Two Brits in Austria fall for a girl. One wants to make her an opera star and the other wants her for revue.    

Charm is an illusive quality. It's hard to see why one film charms but another falls flat. It's certainly dangerous to rely on it keeping a film afloat. Going Gay relies heavily on charm, and luckily it succeeds.

The charm comes almost solely from Magda Schneider. She doesn't get to do much more than sing a few songs and be the object of other people's machinations, but what she does she does delightfully. It's a great example of the power of some stars to just be there and be interesting. Arthur Riscoe and Naunton Wayne were adequate light comedians but, let's face it, short of sex appeal. They were also already a tad long in the tooth for romantic duties, but in the presence of Miss Schneider they do become sexual beings, albeit only slightly.

Other pleasures come from the Bauhaus-inspired production design trying to replicate German architecture in a British studio. It's a handsome film and doesn't stint on sets or extras. It does however stint on memorable songs and lines. Without those, it really does need Miss Schneider's charm to keep it going.    

Script: Selwyn Jepson, Jack Marks, KRG Browne

Director: Carmine Gallone

Players: Arthur Riscoe, Naunton Wayne, Magda Schneider, Grete Natzler, Joe Hyman, Wilfred Noy, Ruth Maitland, Bertha Belmore, Brenda Senton, Victor Fairley, Richard Wyder