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The Naughty Flirt


The Naughty Flirt (1931)

If Myrna Loy was not in The Naughty Flirt, there would be no reason to watch it. This story of a beautiful, young and popular girl does nothing but dissatisfy. Thankfully, Loy adds some flavor with her dark, conniving character in this flick made early in her talking picture career.

In this thankfully short flick, pretty but pathetic star Alice White plays Kay Elliot, a young rich thing who starts the movie on her way to night court with a group of friends who are being delivered via paddy wagon for their night of drunken tomfoolery. One of the other arrestees, Jack Gregory (Douglas Gilmore), suggests he and Kay get married while in court, having already procured the marriage license. His sister, Linda (Loy), has a strange attitude about the “proposal”, which we will later come to understand.

Despite her best intentions, Alice fails to marry Jack while in court because her father’s employee attorney Alan Ward (Paul Page) is in the room and phones the old man about the impending incident. Alan takes Kay home and the girl tries to flirt with him, to his sheer annoyance. From here on Kay makes it her mission to land the man who finds her frivolous. He is eventually tricked into accepting one of her invitations to dinner on the pretense it is in fact her father’s birthday party. It is not.

Kay does hook Alan at this event, much to Jack and Linda’s chagrin. Linda has been plotting to have her brother wed Kay merely to access her money. At a later retreat, the sister connives to trap Alan in a compromising position by feigning illness in bed. The other tenants of the vacation home walk into to find the two in close company on her bed, prompting the first of several break ups for Kay and Alan.

The biggest problem with The Naughty Flirt is that White makes Kay the most unlikable girl imaginable. We can have no respect for her reckless life and find it hard to believe she genuinely likes this gent. Why Alan falls for her is a mystery, and the movie would have produced a more satisfying ending if he had pulled the Philadelphia Story move and knocked her to the ground via a shove to the face. But to our disappointment the characters eek out a happy ending.

Loy is wonderfully different as Linda. Far from the “perfect wife” she would become, Loy with her dark hair and eyeliner brings a smouldering edge to her somewhat sinister part. She puts on a great show and is possibly the best actor in the whole film. That being said, unless you’re looking to check a movie off your Myrna Loy list, The Naughty Flirt is ideal for now viewer.

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