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   October 24, 2014



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Swing Your Lady (1938)
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


Nat Pendleton, Humphrey Bogart and Louise Fazenda; in the rear, Leon, Frank & Elviry Weaver can be seen, and Penny Singleton is to the right.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Nat Pendleton, Louise Fazenda
Written by: Maurice Leo, Kenyon Nicholson (play), Charles Robinson (play), Joseph Schrank
Directed by: Ray Enright

Generally considered to be one of Humphrey Bogart's most forgettable films, it stars the legendary actor before movies such as Casablanca and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre had granted him immortality.

Swing Your Lady is a musical comedy that sends flailing wrestling promoter Ed Hatch (Bogart) on a series of misadventures with his troupe, including Joe "The Wrestling Hercules" (Nat Pendleton, Flesh, Deception), eventually discovering a strong farm-girl named Sadie Horn (Louise Fazenda, star of many of Mack Sennett company's silent films) and setting up fights between her and Joe to finally get his company's feet back on the ground.

According to Paul Michael, who wrote Humphrey Bogart: The Man and His Films, Bogey called Swing Your Lady his worst film.

"A little of the hare-brained hill-billy humor goes a long way," wrote Ronald Bergan in Sports In The Movies.

Be sure to watch the film carefully for a couple of other notables: Future California governor and U.S. President Ronald Reagan is Jack Miller in the flick, though it isn't a prominent role. The other is Daniel Boone Savage as Sadie's boyfriend, Noah Webster. Savage was a big pro wrestling star in the 1930s as Whiskers Savage, particularly in Texas.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and can be emailed at hillhouse_slam@hotmail.ca -- SLAM! Wrestling.