I’ve Got Your Number (1934)

I've Got Your Numbe 1934Terry Riley (Pat O’Brien) and Johnny (Allan Jenkins) are telephone repairmen who aren’t exactly known for being employees of the month.  But rather than fire them, their boss Joe Flood (Eugene Pallette) decides to send them out on the worst jobs the phone company gets.  Much to Joe’s dismay, the tough jobs actually work out well for Terry and Johnny.

When Terry is sent to a job at a burning building, he saves the life of prominent businessman John P. Schuyler (Henry O’Neill) and Schuyler tells Terry that if he ever needs a favor, don’t hesitate to ask.  When Terry and Johnny are sent to take the phone equipment from fortune teller Madame Francis (Glenda Farrell), they end up exposing her as a fraud, but she seduces Terry and Johnny soon starts dating her.

One day, Terry is later sent to the hotel where Marie Lawson (Joan Blondell) works as a switchboard operator.  Marie had inadvertently helped Nicky (Gordon Westcott) use the phone system to bilk another hotel guest out of a lot of money and the manager wants to see if the phone had been tapped.  When Terry doesn’t find a phone tap, Marie loses her job.  But Terry is extremely attracted to Marie and before he gets her fired, he asks her out and she turns him down.  That night, he messes with the phone at her apartment so he can come and fix it.  While he’s at it, he ruins her dinner so she has no other choice but to go out with him.  But that night, Marie starts to come around to Terry.  He even goes to see Schuyler about getting her a new job.

Marie is very happy at her new job, but her trouble from her old job soon catches up with her.  It doesn’t take long for Nicky to find out where she’s working and he uses her to pull a huge scam on her boss.  Once again, Marie is left holding the bag and this time, she’s in so much trouble the story makes the news.   But with their knowledge of the phone system, Terry and Johnny are able to save her.

For the most part, I really liked I’ve Got Your Number.  Like many pre-codes, it’s fast paced and full of snappy banter and innuendo. Some of its scenes are extremely pre-code.  My biggest complaint about it is that Glenda Farrell was way underused. In fact, her entire character was pretty irrelevant to the story.  They could have cut her character out all together and it wouldn’t have made a big difference.  Glenda Farrell is by far one of my favorite pre-code actresses, so to see her so underused in I’ve Got Your Number was very disappointing.  But luckily Joan Blondell and Pat O’Brien helped make up for the lack of Glenda Farrell.

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