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The Nuisance

The Nuisance(1933)

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teaser The Nuisance (1933)

Lee Tracy is at his fast-talking best as a crooked lawyer in this dramedy. Working with quack doctor Frank Morgan and fake invalid Charles Butterworth, he wins a series of costly judgments against the local streetcar company by fabricating injuries for a string of phony clients. It's a great racket until the company's lawyers hire Madge Evans to fake an injury of her own in order to lure Tracy into revealing the secrets of the scam. If you can't guess where Tracy and Evans's relationship is headed, you've never seen an old movie before. Husband-and-wife writers Sam and Bella Spewack worked on the script two years before they scored their first big Broadway hit with Boy Meets Girl, to be followed by Kiss Me Kate and My Three Angels. And director Jack Conway was already an expert at mixing tough-talking comedy with moments of serious drama, as he had in Red-Headed Woman a year earlier. While working on this picture, Tracy was also filming his scenes for the star-studded Dinner at Eight (1933). He was one of the studio's most reliable stars when his drinking problems, particularly during location shooting for Viva Villa! (1934), brought an end to his contract and the MGM career of one of the early '30s' best comic stars.

By Frank Miller

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