Penthouse (Crooks in Clover) (1933)
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as Jackson 'Jack' Duran...
as Gertie Waxted
as Mimi Montagne
as Tom Siddall
as Jim Crelliman
as Sue Leonard
as Tony Gazotti
as Tim Murtoch
as Lt. Stevens
as Lt. Stevens
as City Editor
as Durant's Law Partner
as Lily, Mimi's Maid
as Gazotti's Butler
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Audience Reviews for Penthouse (Crooks in Clover)
the always adorable myrna loy started out in silents playing exotic vamps and bad girls. this entertaining film was one of her earliest major roles and she plays a sassy call girl who helps lawyer warner baxter to clear his friend of murder. happily, everything works out well for myrna's character, something that would never happen under the hays code given her profession, which is left in little doubt. the following year the thin man made myrna a star and, in marked contrast to her early image, she soon became known as the 'perfect wife'
'Penthouse' tells the story of a lawyer who loses his job and then his fiancÚ because he defended a gangster, but who then gets called it to help the same woman when her new boyfriend is framed for murder by a rival gang. It has a reasonably tight script and is well cast, with Warner Baxter playing the lawyer and Myrna Loy as the gangster's moll, a 'bad girl' with glittering eyes who he quite understandably falls for. Despite the company he keeps, however, he's a virtuous man - he won't take bad money, he stands up for the accused even when his life is ominously threatened, and when Loy sleeps over at his place, it's just that, sleeping over (much to her surprise). I think the film is pretty good but doesn't really stand out because it's too polished - the gangsters have gentlemanly attributes, far from Cagney's more realistic portrayal, and for all their pre-Code banter, the romantic exchanges lack real passion, with the exception of Mae Clarke (in a minor role), whose reaction when she's jilted is quite good. I suppose that's just it - Loy is very beautiful, but not quite right, whereas Clarke nails it. Not horrible, no major plot holes, nothing to really pan, and if you're a Loy or Baxter fan it may be worth watching - but you could do better.
So-so gangland murder story, with the lovely Myrna Loy in a trial run here for her later role as Nora Charles. Loy's sassy mistress-with-a-heart-of-gold is the best thing about the film, really - Warner Baxter's not very charismatic, and the plot seems more convoluted than it needs to be.
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