Why Be Good?

1929

Comedy / Drama / Musical / Romance

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 7.2/10 10 566 566

Top cast

Randolph Scott as Man Dancing at The Boiler
Jean Harlow as Blonde on Rooftop Bench at Junior's Second Party
Phil Harris as Drummer in Band at The Boiler
Andy Devine as Young Man at The Boiler
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
747 MB
1280*960
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
Seeds 11
1.35 GB
1440*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
Seeds 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MissSimonetta 8 / 10

The epitome of the flapper

No movie better illustrates the inherent contradiction of the Hollywood flapper than Why Be Good? (1929). Colleen Moore is a party girl who wears make-up, bobbed hair, and short skirts. She flirts with young men and has built quite the reputation for herself; however, she (and the film) makes it clear that she is a "good girl" despite everything. Sexual liberation hand in hand with conservative values so that the audience isn't too radicalized.

This quality was my biggest issue with that second most famous of flapper pictures Our Dancing Daughters (1928) with Joan Crawford as the virginal flapper who is held up as an ideal modern girl in comparison with the Anita Page character, who sleeps around and is thus a horrible person who must be punished. Though that film claims to be modern, it upholds Victorian morality with relish. Yet in Why Be Good? the double standard is firmly attacked. While we are assured that Moore is a virgin with some conservative sexual values, the movie stands up against the double standard. When the male love interest is swayed by his sexist father into thinking Moore is trash because she flirts and parties, Moore shoots him down, claiming that if she stayed home and "darned socks" she would have hardly attracted his attention in the first place. In a society where a good girl is labeled a "prude" and a party girl a "tramp," a woman just can't win.

Well not here. In the end, the flapper wins the boy and the day. The message is quite progressive for the time, far ahead of Our Dancing Daughters. It's also more fun, with Moore showing off her charm and comic talent to great effect. She also sports some great playful sex appeal here. The Vitaphone score paired with the film is excellent, giving you a great sense of the time period, all jazz and Charlestons.

I've rambled on enough, so let me make it brief: watch this movie. Colleen Moore is funny and the message quite modern, one society still has not fully taken to heart, even in the 21st century.

Reviewed by gbill-74877 8 / 10

Delightful

Lost until the late 1990's and then only restored in 2014, this is a real gem to have found. It's a playful film that evokes the era of the roaring 20's as well as any other, and has a nice bit of feminism in it as well. The two young people (the delightful Colleen Moore and dapper Neil Hamilton) push against the boundary of what was considered acceptable, and more importantly, she sticks up for herself, first with her parents and then with him. Her character, Pert Kelly (what a perfect name) the "hot potato", asserts her freedom with this line to her father:

"Pop, listen to me! This is 1929 - not 1899 - I contribute as much money to this house as you do - and as long as I think it is harmless, I'm going to wear what I like, and do what I like! I want to go out, and dance, and have fun, as long as I can, as much as I can!"

She can take care of herself; when a sleazy guy comes on to her, she plays along but is always in control, but when a guy comes along that she does like (Hamilton), she's not afraid to kiss him first. She's confident, saying to her friends, "Sure, I'm good! I'm just naturally too hot for this old folks' home!" At the same time, we see how her having fun and dancing wildly forces her to beware of being considered a "bad girl", or to be taken advantage of by a man. She just wants to be herself and yet has to thread the needle to be acceptable to everyone around her. This leads to this fantastic line:

"You men! You insist on a girl being just what you want - and then you bawl her (out) for being it."

Unfortunately, the feminist message is a little undercut by the women ("girls") in the office who are late to work putting on pouty, little girl airs to try to seduce the boss, though I confess I found the scene amusing.

The plot is simple but it's loaded with fantastic intertitles featuring 1920's slang, and it's got some nice art deco sets to go along with all the flapper outfits and dancing. While the film is a great time capsule of that era, the scenes of the younger generation struggling against the older are timeless. The fathers of both are shown to be too old-fashioned, but her mother (Bodil Rosing, who is wonderful) is more understanding, and has some really lovely scenes with Moore. In an interview for the film, Moore pointed out the hypocrisy of the older generation by saying "Is it any worse for a girl to call kissing 'necking' and admit she does it, than it was for her mother to call it 'spooning' and deny it?" Hamilton added, "It's all in the point of view... Our parents probably scandalized our grandparents, and our kids will probably look back on us as a lot of old fogies." It seems you can repeat these lines for every generation.

This film marked the end of an era not just for America, but for Colleen Moore, who would only appear in a few sound movies afterwards. She's wonderful.

Reviewed by planktonrules 7 / 10

Is she a good girl looking to have a good time or just a good-time girl?

recently restored--combined missing disk with footage--Vitaphone Project

This film is a great example of a supposedly lost film that was found due to the so-called 'Vitaphone Project'. Because early Vitaphone sound films consisted of both the film footage AND an accompanying record for sound, many movies seemed to be only available as sound discs or film footage. However, with the internet age, the Vitaphone Project has managed to track down BOTH copies of many films and film shorts--the record and film have finally been reunited! So, although "Why Be Good?" has been considered lost for years, here it is---for the first time in many, many decades.

Like many of these early sound films, it really is NOT a talking picture but a silent with a soundtrack. A few songs in the film also are sung live by the actors. Otherwise, it's a traditional silent film. As for the soundtrack, it's actually at times too invasive and generally too loud! I actually wish, at times, there was no soundtrack!

As for the film, it's a romantic comedy about flappers--in particular, Pert Kelly (Colleen Moore). Pert LOVES to party and goes out all the time with her friends in order to dance. One night, she meets a nice guy, Winthrop Peabody Jr. (Neil Hamilton) and they fall in love. Later, she learns that he's her boss at the department store! The problem is that Winthrop Sr. is worried that Pert might be a bit of a slut. After all, she loves to party, loves to dance and is clearly a flapper. So what's next? See the film.

This is a pretty good film and is one of the last silent-style films from Warner Brothers. The story is good and talks about the double- standard for ladies--the need to be fun, adventurous, rather slutty and yet chaste! My only real complaint is the ending--which seems to come rather abruptly.

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