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Playing Around

Playing Around(1930)

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teaser Playing Around (1930)

Alice White gets overlooked when compared to other screen flappers like Clara Bow, Louise Brooks and Colleen Moore, but she certainly had her charms. The blonde "baby-vamp" who came to stardom after honest-to-god being plucked from First National Picture's secretarial pool was a favorite in early talkies. (Warner Brothers, flush with cash after inventing the successful Vitaphone sync sound technology, scooped up First National, White and the rest of its stable of stars like Loretta Young and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Here, White plays Sheba Miller, a stenographer (natch) from a humble neighborhood who, after winning a "pretty legs" contest at a flashy nightclub, must decide between the gangster (Chester Morris) that likes her looks and the honorable neighborhood guy (William Bakewell) who wants to marry her. It's easy to see White's jazz baby appeal when she bats her big eyes and croons songs like "You Learn About Love Every Day".

By Violet LeVoit

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