Search for Beauty


Comedy / Crime / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Ida Lupino Photo
Ida Lupino as Barbara Hilton
Ann Sheridan Photo
Ann Sheridan as Dallas Beauty Winner
Lynn Bari Photo
Lynn Bari as Beauty Contestant Entrant
Robert Armstrong Photo
Robert Armstrong as Larry Williams
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
710.35 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 17 min
P/S 20 / 67
1.29 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 17 min
P/S 30 / 152

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by F Gwynplaine MacIntyre10 / 10

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.

Reviewed by goblinhairedguy8 / 10

Jaw-dropping, good-natured pre-code antics

You really have to see this one to believe it! Not many movies flaunt their pre-code liberty so blatantly and lightheartedly (not unlike the Busby Berkeley extravaganza "Gold Diggers of 1933"). At the same time, it's very successful in its own right as a fast-paced comedy satirizing health-product hucksters and wealthy debauchees.

Inspired by the L.A. Olympics, a trio of con artists lure some prize-winning athletes into endorsing their newly-acquired fitness magazine. They stage an international publicity stunt to find the healthiest young bodies in the English-speaking world. While the athletes are out scouting for specimens, the three rogues turn the magazine into a lurid cheesecake rag (their lascivious board of censors is a hoot). This spins off into a health farm, which they try to turn into a high-priced knocking shop for Hollywood swells out to exploit eager young talent.

As the con artists, Robert Armstrong and James Gleason have plenty of fancy, word-mangling patter. And Gertrude Michael holds her own, needling them mercilessly, as well as slinkily seducing all-American hero Buster Crabbe. Crabbe practically plays himself, while an unrecognizable bleached-blonde Ida Lupino is his pert female British counterpart.

Not only are the dialog and situations pretty risqué, but there are plenty of suggestive visuals. Michaels enthusiastically ogles Crabbe's crotch through binoculars; there's a shower scene with bare-assed young men flitting about, and a production number which has the busty and muscled contest winners bouncing around in tight outfits, simulating Olympic events (male and female flesh are flaunted equally in this film). Berkeley favourite Toby Wing has a plumb role as Lupino's fun-loving underage cousin, who almost suffers a fate worse than death at the climactic wild party (not that the filmmakers seem to be too worried about it!). Lupino has to save her by taking her place in a grinding table-dance. Skinny Gleason, in jogging shorts, provides a very low-comedy fade-out gag.

Modern viewers will guffaw at the naive concept that health-conscious athletes would rather stop an orgy than join in. And like most 1930s Paramount films, the set direction is marvellous (just check out Armstrong's dowdy office!).

Even if you can only find a jittery video transfer, it's well worth checking this one out. More Paramount Olympic satire can be found in "Million Dollar Legs" (1932 version),and the magazine-exploitation angle was revived for the Don Knotts extravaganza "The Love God?".

Reviewed by blanche-26 / 10

pre-code, and boy, is it!

The difference between films from their start to the early '30s and the post-1934 era is astounding.

In the '30s, you have femininely dressed women, single, dating, ogling men, and having sex. In the '40s, the clothes are stiff, tailored, the women are single and we're told they are unfulfilled and unhappy. Such was the code, which dictated morals to the movies and possibly to a lot of naive and unsophisticated people across the country. I know because my mother was one.

This film is precode at its most outrageous.

During the 1932 summer Olympics in LA, some con artists (James Gleason, Robert Armstrong, and Gertrude Michael),convince top athletes to endorse their health and fitness magazine.

In order to find the best of the best, as a publicity stunt, they stage an international competition. They send one of the endorsing athletes, Don Jackson (Buster Crabbe) out to find the athletes and get their consent to be part of a magazine spread.

While Don is conveniently out of the country, the cons publish the magazine they really intended to -- a tawdry cheesecake rag with lurid stories and plenty of sex.

When one of the athletes, Barbara (Ida Lupino) finds out what they're up to, she summons Don. To appease him, a deal is made whereby Don is given a farm that he and Barbara can turn into a health farm.

Well, the health farm as far as our erstwhile publishers are concerned is nothing more than a high-class bordello.

This is a fast-moving, fun film with men showing their naked butts, and women drooling over mens' bodies, (with one set of binoculars focused on Crabbe's crotch) and plenty of suggestive clothing.

Robert Armstrong and James Gleason are a couple of old pros and handle the dialogue well. Buster Crabbe was a gorgeous man, almost pretty, who was a two-time Olympic medalist in swimming, but he wasn't much of an actor. He played a lot of comic book heroes like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Captain Gallant, and did dozens of adventure films and westerns.

This was an early American film for Ida Lupino, who plays a star swimmer. She still has her British accent and sports the style of the day, platinum blonde hair and penciled in eyebrows. She is barely recognizable but she does a fine job.

The question is, was this film ahead of its time or was this the way things were? Well, my opinion is that this is the way things were in places like Hollywood and New York among the film and theater communities. I don't think the whole country was this way, nor do I think in the '40s the whole country was all THAT way. After all, men were going to war and might never see their girlfriends again. It was all somewhere in the middle, though the code would have had us believe differently.

Fun, and really needs to be seen to be believed.

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