Hands Across the Table

Liebe im Handumdrehen
New York hotel manicurist Regi Allen comes from poverty and has resolved to marry a rich man. She doesn’t realise that her best customer, a millionaire in a wheelchair, has developed feelings for her. Instead, she hooks up with Ted, the happy-go-lucky scion of a family that lost all its money in the stock market crash. Although he confesses to her that he needs to marry for money and is engaged to the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Regi allows the spoiled layabout to take up residence on her living room sofa. While Ted’s fiancée sees in Regi an unwelcome rival, the manicurist’s rich customer considers proposing marriage … Hands Across the Table was made under Paramount’s newly-installed head of production, Ernst Lubitsch. Director Mitchell Leisen imbued his comedy with chiaroscuro lighting and a pronounced sense of contrast in social status. Carole Lombard, appearing as a brunette this time, also brings a note of darkness to her character, in keeping with the ambiguity of her tomboy mien. Sporting a given name that sounds male, and a full-time job, Regi is endowed with male characteristics from the start, while the actual man presents as a mama’s boy ensconced on the sofa.
by Mitchell Leisen
with Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy, Astrid Allwyn, Ruth Donnelly, Marie Prevost, Katherine DeMille, Joseph Tozer, William Demarest, Edward Gargan
USA 1935 English 77’ Black/White

With

  • Carole Lombard
  • Fred MacMurray
  • Ralph Bellamy
  • Astrid Allwyn
  • Ruth Donnelly
  • Marie Prevost
  • Katherine DeMille
  • Joseph Tozer
  • William Demarest
  • Edward Gargan

Crew

DirectorMitchell Leisen
ScreenplayNorman Krasna, Vincent Lawrence, Herbert Fields, based on a story by Viña Delmar
DialogueDorothy Parker, Alan Campbell
CinematographyTed Tetzlaff
EditingWilliam Shea
SongsJean Delettre, Mitchell Parish, Sam Coslow
SoundHarry Lindgren, Walter Oberst
Art DirectorHans Dreier, Roland Anderson
CostumesTravis Banton
ProducerE. Lloyd Sheldon

Produced by

Paramount Productions, Inc.