Times Square Lady, 1935, Is Playing on August 25 (USA)

Times Square Lady, 1935 is playing on Turner Classic Movies on August 25 at 7:15 a.m. est.  This is a very rare T-Square-lady02showing of an early Robert Taylor movie.  Set your DVR.  Not closed captioned.

MGM studios released two films with Robert Taylor early in 1935. Society Doctor, starring Chester Morris, Virginia Bruce and Robert Taylor premiered in January. Times Square Lady followed in March, starring Robert Taylor. Virginia Bruce and Pinky Tomlin. Lady is a solid gangster film, with a strong cast backing Taylor and Bruce. Isabel Jewell is Bruce’s wise-cracking sidekick, Nat Pendleton is his valet, Helen Twelvetrees his girl. The rest of the cast consists mostly of a wonderfully slimy bunch of crooks played by Jack Kramer, Henry Kolker, Raymond Hatton, Russell Hopton, Fred Kohler and Robert Elliott.

The plot is fairly straightforward. A wealthy promoter dies and his shady underlings assume they will take over his considerable holdings. To their surprise, the deceased had a daughter (Bruce) who is his sole heir. With a paternalism bordering on contempt, they plan to report to her that there is no money for her to inherit but they will take his properties off her hands for a fraction of their worth.

T-Square-lady

Robert Taylor and Helen Twelvetrees

To convince her to sell, the crooks stage some incidents to demonstrate how bad it all is. Gang member Robert Taylor is assigned to charm the lady out of her holdings. Taylor manages a nightclub and this introduces a subplot involving singer/songwriter Pinky Tomlin, creator of such songs as “The Object of My Affection” and “What’s the Reason (I’m Not Pleasin’ You?).

Taylor frequently played dubious characters who find redemption in such films as “Rogue Cop” and “Johnny Eager.” Here he is saved by his love for Miss Bruce’s character. As happened not infrequently they were also a couple off screen.

The last quarter of the film is filled with action, car chases, fights, shootings and a lot of double crossing. The film moves quickly and benefits from comic relief by Tomlin, Pendleton and a cow named either Daisy or Bossy.

Robert Taylor is very young and very thin. The physical differences between the Taylor of Times Square Lady (filmed late 1934) and His Brother’s Wife (filmed in 1936) are striking. Nonetheless he is effective here, combining toughness with energy and humor. Bruce and Taylor have good chemistry together. The film was generally well received in its day, with the New York Times calling it “a bit of light divertissement.” Review by me for the IMDB.

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About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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2 Responses to Times Square Lady, 1935, Is Playing on August 25 (USA)

  1. dianne345 says:

    Watched. A stepping-stone movie for him which showed real talent even at the very young age of 24.

  2. giraffe44 says:

    I know. I’m really impressed at how good Mr. Taylor is in this. He was 23 or 24 at this time and already quite accomplished. The make-up is awful, though.

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