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Olivia de Havilland,
Seeing her chance, 25-year-old heiress (Virginia Bruce) flees from her over-protective grandfather with none of her fortune in her purse. On the streets of New York, she is befriended by a shop girl (Patsy Kelly) . The shop girl takes her in and gets her a job at the store which is part of a chain owned by the heiress. Unbeknownst to the newsworthy heiress, her true identity is known to a single reporter (March).Written by
HEART is an attempt at a screwball comedy that fails for a couple of reasons: a plot that gets too entangled, to the point of incredulity, and a lead actress who may look a little like Carol Lombard, but clearly isn't. Virginia Bruce is the female in question as a runaway heiress who ends up working incognito in her grandfather's department store, clearly meant to resemble Macy's. The thin-faced Bruce is a bit too wistful for the role, unfortunately. The role really could have used Lombard -- or Thelma Todd or Irene Dunne or Katherine Hepburn or Claudette Colbert, or even one of the Bennett sisters. Frederic March is, as always, note-perfect as a cynical reporter on Bruce's trail who -- what else? -- ends up falling for her. There is a stunt-filled ice skating sequence that takes up a bit too much time, compounded by a very rushed ending that leaves major plot strings untied. The wonderful Eugene Palette is on hand as March's blustery editor, and wisecracking Patsy Kelly is in fine form as a downtrodden store clerk who takes Bruce in. This may be no BRINGING UP BABY or NOTHING SACRED or IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, but it is fun to watch March, Kelly and Palette in action. And it is also viewable in its historic context, surrounded as it was by several masterpieces of the genre.
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