Peach O' Reno (1931)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 63 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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One of the best of the pre-Production Code Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey vehicles, Peach O' Reno remains as hilariously ribald today as it was nearly 70 years ago. Wheeler and Woolsey play Wattles and Swift, a pair of Reno divorce attorneys whose practice is so successful that their clients have to take numbers to be served. When the working day is over, Wattles & Swift convert their law offices into a nightclub, with the secretaries shedding their street clothes to don skimpy dancing outfits and the junior lawyers transforming into waiters. The story is set in motion when Joe and Aggie Bruno (Joseph Cawthorn and Cora Witherspoon) decide to get a divorce after 20 years of marriage. Wattles agrees to represent Joe in court, while Swift agrees to handle Aggie's case -- a cute conflict of interest that will mean money in the bank for the partners no matter what the outcome. The Brunos' pretty daughters Prudence (Dorothy Lee) and Pansy (Zelma O'Neill) show up in Reno to prevent their parents' breakup, whereupon Wattles falls in love with Prudence and Swift is overcome (quite literally) by Pansy. As part of his legal strategy, Swift arranges for Joe to be seen in public with another woman, who turns out to be Wattles in drag. After several minutes of double- and single-entendre comedy patter, disgruntled ex-husband Ace Crosby (Mitchell Harris), angry over the outcome of his divorce case, comes gunning for Wattles. The latter, still in female disguise, manages to keep Crosby at bay, but soon the ruse is revealed and the shootin' starts. The whole affair ends in up court, where the Brunos' divorce develops into a huge media event, with radio announcer Eddie Kane providing play-by-play and concessionaire Monte Collins hawking peanuts to the spectators. With the help of a melancholy violin rendition of "Hearts and Flowers" Wattles and Swift manage to reunite the warring couple. At this point, the Judge (Sam Hardy) instruct the jurors -- armed with musical instruments -- to "get hot," as he performs a double wedding ceremony, marrying Wattles to Prudence and Swift to Pansy. The musical highlights include a priceless Wheeler-Woolsey terpsichorean number which starts as a sultry tango and ends as an wild Apache dance, and Bert Wheeler and Dorothy Lee's delightful Niagara Falls to Reno, showing off the tapping skills of both performers.