Girls About Town

83 minutes 2013

Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman are high-priced Manhattan "escorts" hired to amuse a skinflint midwestern copper baron (Eugene Pallette) and his cynical business associate (Joel McCrea) during a weekend yacht trip. This 1931 romantic comedy was only George Cukor's fifth film, but his skill at orchestrating snappy banter is already evident, and the frank precode script takes a loose attitude toward marriage and divorce. In a parade of backless gowns and ravishing lingerie, Francis and Tashman get the glam treatment from cinematographer Ernest Haller, who also catches the youthful McCrea in moments of near-transcendent beauty (if not great acting).

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