GLUTTONY: Hard to Handle

Live Set by DJ Mean Mr. Mustard

Co-Presented by

Deep in the drowsy hours of a dance marathon, the opening scene of Mervyn LeRoy’s Hard to Handle prepares us for a string of preposterous and hammy get-rich-quick schemes at the hands of leading man, James Cagney. An oddball aptly named “Lefty,” he’s a fellow who falls wildly in and out of the favor of those around him—especially that of the mother of the woman he repeatedly implores to accept him. Always after some glory and a quick buck, Lefty dreams up schemes like fad diets, never balking at the chance to whip up some false advertisements. Cartoonish antics aside, Cagney’s performance also belies the heaviness and melodrama of the Depression-era culture, a time when a grueling dance contest was not so much about fun and showmanship but about winning that desperately needed prize money.

Dir. Mervyn LeRoy, 1933, 35mm, 78 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!