Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… You Said A Mouthful (1932)

Now for our next movie, the 1932 movie You Said A Mouthful starring Joe E. Brown and Ginger Rogers!

Joe E. Brown plays Joe Holt, who works in the shipping department at the Armstrong Rubber Goods And Swiming Wear Company. Partly due to his own fear of the water, he has been trying to create an unsinkable swimsuit. However, he has been the favorite victim for his coworkers to play pranks on and can’t get his boss’s attention for his swimsuit. When he learns that he has inherited his aunt’s fortune, he quits his job and goes to California to claim his inheritance. Much to his dismay, he finds his “inheritance” consists of worthless stock and Sam Wellington (Farina), the son of his aunt’s African-American servant. Now broke, they decide to try finding work on Catalina Island. Before they can get on the boat, they are found by Alice Brandon (Ginger Rogers), who brings them to her father’s home. As they find out, Joe has been mistaken for another Joe Holt, who is a champion swimmer that was coming to take part in a race. Joe tries to tell her the truth, but as she starts to like him and breaks up with her old boyfriend, Ed Dover (Preston S. Foster), he finds himself trying to learn how to swim from Sam. Of course, when he gets his hands on his unsinkable swimsuit, he really feels confident he can do well in the race!

At the time You Said A Mouthful was made, Joe E. Brown was one of the top comedians, and Ginger Rogers was still in the early stages of her film career. They had been paired together earlier in 1932 for The Tenderfoot, which turned out to be a wonderful experience for Ginger, as Joe (the bigger star at the time) was very kind to her, and gave her room to shine. You Said A Mouthful would be more of the same for Ginger, and even provide her better opportunity, as the film’s director, Lloyd Bacon, would shortly be directing the classic musical 42nd Street. He recommended Ginger for the part of Anytime Annie, which helped her career take off.

You Said A Mouthful is a nice, simple comedy. Some things haven’t aged well (Joe’s little gesture of sticking his fist under his chin as he goes into his inner monologue is overdone a few too many times and slows things down), but I enjoyed it. It’s worth it to see Joe being taken water-skiing (or “aqua-planing” as they called it in the movie) against his will (even if the background is a rear projection screen for part of the time). The race is definitely fun (a little unrealistic as to how long he stays underwater at times, but that’s part of the fun)! Like I said, it’s early Ginger Rogers, before she had her screen persona fully developed, but between her and Joe E. Brown, there is some fun to be had! At one hour, ten minutes, the movie doesn’t drag on, but feels just right. While I have seen better movies, this is one that I am glad was released on DVD by the Warner Archive Collection!

Film Length: 1 hour, 10 minutes

My Rating: 7/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Joe E. Brown – Show Boat (1951)

Ginger Rogers42nd Street (1933)

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