Frank Borzage, 1931
James Dunn's character is a dry run for Spencer Tracy's meaner and tougher creation in Man's Castle
, but that doesn't mean that he isn't a lovable son of a bitch, just the same. He can't say "I love you" so whenever Sally Eilers says it, he just looks down, does this little hand gesture thingie and goes, "ok." It's wonderful. Two wrongheaded bozos who get together because everything says they shouldn't. She's heard it all from the fellas, every line, every trick. He can't bother and ignores all women and puts them down in a playfully grouchy way. She's fascinated by this. So am I. They're all guarded barbs, comebacks and slang. But behind all the wisecracks lie gentle and insecure souls. Borzage's camera is not as fully expressive as it is in other works, but it does well enough to let his performers just play off each other in wonderful ways. The world is a good place and there are good boxers everywhere. I have met them. Borzage introduced me.