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Loose Ankles 1930
Description: To the dismay of most of a greedy, rich, extended family, grandmother's will leaves her fortune to a few, mostly to her great-niece Ann (Loretta Young). Ann will only obtain her inheritance once she marries, with the approval of three of her stuffed-shirt relatives and without scandal. Otherwise the estate goes to the cat and dog hospital. Ann, not needing the money, rebels by seeking scandal with a gigolo. Director Ted Wilde's 1930 comedy stars Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Louise Fazenda, Ethel Wales and Daphne Pollard.
Released: 02 Feb 1930 Director: Ted Wilde Writers: Sam Janney (from the play by), Gene Towne (continuity & dialogue) Actors: Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Louise Fazenda, Ethel Wales Genres: Comedy, Romance
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Loose Ankles Reviews:

This film, based on a 1926 scene play, is extremely funny and fun to watch. It is also somewhat difficult to find. I was fortunate to see it screened at Cinevent 39.The storyline concerns a group of society folks hearing a will read to them. The deceased's niece (Loretta Young) has most of the luck when an estate is left to her under the condition that she search a husband and no scandal be brought to the family. Everyone else's inheritance depends on this clause, but Ann (Young) doesn't wish her share. In fact, she's determined to force everyone out of theirs because she thinks the family is too greedy. Off she goes to place an advertisement in the paper for a man to "compromise her." Andy (Edward Nugent) finds it in the paper and thinks he'd be excellent for the role, but instead thinks maybe his room friend Gil (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) would be better suited. In a very funny scene, Gil goes to Ann's home and is taken advantage of by the maid (Daphne Pollard).Somehow, they all end up at a speakeasy where Ann's uptight aunts Katherine (Ethel Wales) and Sarah (Louise Fazenda) steal the present during a drunken spectacle where Andy tries to control his laughter.This movie is certainly a pre-code. Aside from outright illegal drunkenness, we see Andy taking a bath and girls disrobing men, along with the generally racy storyline. Possibly the reason they got away with so much (besides being made during the pre-code era) is because this movie is based on a play.Thankfully, the camera-work does not create the film's roots evident. Of course, there are many shots that look like characters on a stage, but we also have a moving camera and many close-ups to take advantage of the pretty stars. Young and Fairbanks struggle with their dialogue, but there are enough scenes with the hero actors to create up for their scenes.


This movie is a tiny known entry from the early days of "talkies" that deserves better recognition. Not a masterpiece by any means, it is still a forerunner of the screwball comedies of the soon 30s and 40s and, as such, is pleasant and delicious in its own way.The cast is very good. It is difficult to trust that Loretta Young, testing an heiress who wants to make a family scandal, was only sixteen or seventeen when this film was made. She has a charm and sensuality that belies her years. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., who was nearly as young, does a great job as a bumbling wannabe gigolo who falls in love with Loretta. Also, as noted by another reviewers, Louise Fazenda, as Young's aunt, and Daphne Pollard, as the "helpful" maid, give very funny performances.The next time that this film is on TCM, test to catch it or tape it. There are a lot worse methods to spend an hour or so.


A gratis spirited young heiress with LOOSE ANKLES shocks her rapacious relatives by embarking on a scandal with a naïve paid escort.Loretta Young & Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. star in this forgotten pre-Code comedy. Heady with too much dialogue, as were so many of the first talkies, it tends to creak badly, leaving the performers to strain a bit for laughs. Very tiny more is needed from the two leads than to look pretty and recite their lines. However, there are some fun performances from the helping cast which makes the movie worthwhile.Louise Fazenda & Ethel Wales are a hoot as two stuffy old prunes who loosen-up when liquored-up at a fancy speakeasy--Fazenda's flat-on-the-floor wrestling match with gigolo Eddie Nugent is worth sitting through the rest of the movie. Spunky tiny Daphne Pollard (the occasional cinematic bane of Oliver Hardy's life) scores as Miss Young's feisty maid; watching her divest Fairbanks of his trousers so as to cinch the scandal is hilarious. Otis Harlan appears as a blustery Major.Movie mavens will recognize silent comic Billy Bletcher, uncredited as the diminutive relative from Logan.



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