CRIMSON PLAYGOER

"THE PRIZEFIGHTER AND THE LADY"--State

Steve Morgan  Max Baer Belle Mercer  Myrna Loy Willie Ryan  Otto Kruger The Professor  Walter Huston Primo Carnera  Primo Carnera Jack Dempsey  Jack Dempsey

One of the favorite Hollywood publicity dodges has been the practice of filling pictures with those of famous name, regardless of their acting ability; this genus of fake reaches its ultimate development in "The Prizefighter and the Lady." To begin with, Max Baer is cast in the leading role; then one finds wadded in here and there such notables as Jack Dempsey, Primo Carnera, Jess Willard, Jeffries, Strangler Lewis, and a positive swarm of middleweight, lightweight, anyweight champions, past and present. It goes without saying that most of these worthies appear for about ten seconds, and are barely visible to the naked eye; nevertheless, they are in the picture. Strangely enough, Max Baer as Stove Morgan, plays his part with a certain amount of finesse; his rendition is unquestionably adequate. Whether this anomaly is to be attributed to a general low standard of acting in the films or whether it is due to some innate ability in Mr. Baer, is a problem for individual solution. Myrna Loy and Walter Buston turn in their usual creditable performances, and Otto Kruger manages, in spite of the natural limitations of his trite role, to touch the high spots from time to time.

The plot deals both with gangsters and with prizefighters; consequently, it is pretty dull. Myrna Loy is the mistress of Otto Kruger, as the big-time crook and gambler, Willie Ryan. She meets Max Baer, whom she loves because "he is a big kid." In altruistic fashion, Ryan gives her up; naturally, she has her troubles with her boxer, since he is very healthy and cannot be satisfied with one woman. Nevertheless, the picture ends happily in a terrific match between Baer and Carnera, and in established love between the central couple.