God's Gift to Women

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God's Gift to Women
Frank Fay and Yola d'Avril in the theatrical release poster for God's Gift to Women
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Written by Raymond Griffith
Frederick Hazlitt Brennan
Joseph Jackson
Jane Hinton (play)
Starring Frank Fay
Laura La Plante
Joan Blondell
Charles Winninger
Louise Brooks
Music by Leroy Shield
Cinematography Robert Kurrle
Edited by James Gibbon
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s)
  • April 13, 1931 (1931-04-13)
Running time 72 minutes
Country United States
Language English

God's Gift to Women (1931) is an all-talking pre-code musical romantic comedy film released by Warner Brothers, and starring Frank Fay, Laura LaPlante, Louise Brooks and Joan Blondell. The film was based on the play called The Devil Was Sick by Jane Hinton, and was originally completed as a musical film. Due to audience distaste for musicals, however, all the songs were cut in all U.S. prints. The complete film was released intact in other countries, where there was no such decline in popularity.

Plot[edit]

Wealthy French playboy Toto Duryea (Frank Fay) is irresistible to women, but is in love with none of them. According to Monsieur Rancour (Armand Kaliz), for Toto, "every woman is like a new dish to be tasted." When he is finally and instantly smitten with American Diane Churchill (Laura La Plante), he has great difficulty proving to her and her father (Charles Winninger) that he truly loves her. Finally, he convinces her that he is sincere; Mr. Churchill insists that Toto give up his women and carousing and stay away from his daughter for six months to prove he has reformed. He also asks that Toto get examined by Churchill's doctor.

Dr. Dumont (Arthur Edmund Carewe) has bad news for Toto: his heart is so weak, even the excitement caused by so much as a woman's kiss would be fatal. Toto takes to his bed, but three of his girlfriends insist on nursing him: Fifi (Joan Blondell), Florine (Louise Brooks) and Dagmar (Yola d'Avril). When they all converge on his bedroom and discover each other, they engage in a three-way catfight. Then an outraged husband (John T. Murray) shows up to shoot him. Fortunately, Dr. Dumont arrives and divulges Toto's condition. The husband and the three women all leave.

Then Diane shows up. Before she leaves with her father for America, she insists on spending an hour of passion with him. Unable to resist, he kisses her. When he remains alive, he upbraids the newly arrived Dr. Dumont for his faulty prognosis. Mr. Churchill explains that he had Dumont fake his diagnosis; it was all a test of Toto's claim that he loved Diane "more than life itself". Convinced, he gives Toto permission to marry Diane.

Cast[edit]

Cuts and surviving print[edit]

The following numbers were cut from the film version released in the United States, where musicals had lost their popularity:

  • An elaborate dance number by the Sisters "G" (Eleanor and Karla Gutchrlein) originally appeared in the film during the nightclub sequence at the beginning of the film. Although the Sisters "G" appear in the credits, they are only seen for a couple of minutes in the shortened American version.
  • Frank Fay sang the theme song, which is heard over the credits and is underscored several times in the film.

The complete film was released intact in countries outside the United States, but only the American print is known to have survived.[citation needed]

Warner Archive Collection released the film on DVD on December 11, 2012.

External links[edit]