6.1/10
531
17 user 14 critic

Search for Beauty (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 2 February 1934 (USA)
Three con artists dupe two Olympians into serving as editors of a new health and beauty magazine which is only a front for salacious stories and pictures.

Director:

Erle C. Kenton

Writers:

David Boehm (story by), Maurine Dallas Watkins (story by) (as Maurine Watkins) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Buster Crabbe ... Don Jackson (as Larry 'Buster' Crabbe)
Ida Lupino ... Barbara Hilton
Robert Armstrong ... Larry Williams
James Gleason ... Dan Healy
Toby Wing ... Sally Palmer
Gertrude Michael ... Jean Strange
Bradley Page ... Joe Garrett
Frank McGlynn Sr. ... Rev. Rankin
Nora Cecil ... Miss Pettigrew
Virginia Hammond ... Mrs. Archibald Henderson-James
Eddie Gribbon ... Adolph Knockler
James B. 'Pop' Kenton James B. 'Pop' Kenton ... Caretaker (as 'Pop' Kenton)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roscoe Karns ... Newspaper Reporter (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Three shady characters - Larry, Jean, and Dan - want to make money legally by resuscitating a fitness magazine with cheesecake and beefcake photos and salacious stories with tacked-on morals. They hire two recent Olympic champions as editors to give legitimacy: Barbara Hilton, an English diver, and Don Jackson, a U.S. swimmer. When Jackson and Hilton object to the magazine's contents, they send him on a worldwide search for beauty, for youthful paragons of fitness. When Barbara and Don want out of the partnership to start their own fitness farm, the trio hatches a plan to bilk the kids. Can Barbara and Don avoid being conned or will a femme fatale undo their partnership? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GET YOUNG and HEALTHY! Down on the health farm where Venus like girls and Tarzan like men show you how to live right (Print Ad-Kyle News, ((Kyle, Texas)) 2 March 1934) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Search for Beauty See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Arguably the most suggestive of all pre-Code films, as it actually depicts nudity. See more »

Quotes

Dan Healy: [to Larry] Do me a favor, will you? Go out and find a chiropodist and have your head examined.
See more »

Crazy Credits

With the 30 winners in the International Beauty Contest

chosen from England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the United States. See more »


Soundtracks

Reveille
(uncredited)
Traditional military bugle call
Played at health spa
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gorgeous specimens

What a great idea for a movie! 'Search for Beauty' assembles some dazzling young specimens of physical perfection (both female and male) and places them in a smart-aleck comedy that's downright hilarious! Real-life Olympic swimming champion Buster Crabbe plays an Olympic swimming champion (but gets almost no swimming footage), and Ida Lupino plays an Olympic high-diving champion ... who emerges from the pool with her lipstick intact. I'm pleased to see Crabbe exhibiting real acting ability in a role that doesn't involve rayguns or loincloths.

This movie parodies the career of Bernarr MacFadden, a crackpot who made a fortune publishing 'health' magazines that were full of fad diets, copper bracelets and plenty of photographs of scantily-clad women and men.

Robert Armstrong plays a confidence trickster, partnered by Gertrude Michael as his Jean Dixon-ish wise-cracking moll. By the way, I really dislike the movie cliché of the female companion who is constantly insulting her male partner. If she really has so little respect for him, why does she stick with him? James Gleason is on hand here too, as another swindler. Surprisingly, Gleason's character is completely subordinate to Armstrong's. Gleason nearly always played the brains of the outfit, but here his character is largely Armstrong's yes-man. Still, Gleason gets off some splendid wise-cracking dialogue, including the word 'gazype' ... whatever that means.

There's an excellent montage sequence featuring actual footage from the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, and there are a couple of production numbers with lissome female athletes clambering on top of beefcake specimens. The comely Gwenllian Gill shows great appeal in her brief role. Silent-film comedian Leo White does one very funny slapstick bit, and Gleason's performance is more physical than usual. For one long sequence, we see the runty Gleason stripped down to a pair of gym trunks. Gleason gets the last gag in the picture, a cheeky joke that seems more typical of Lou Costello. 'Search for Beauty' is hilarious from start to finish (except for Toby Wing), and this film is definitely a pleasure to look at. I'll rate it a perfect 10 out of 10.


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