Clara Bow … Pat Delaney
Richard Arlen … Larry Lee
Kay Francis … Zara Flynn
David Newell … Tony Barretti
Anders Randolf … Colonel P.P. Brack
May Boley … Ma Spinelli
T. Roy Barnes … Po Spinelli
Joyce Compton … Jennie Silver
Directed by Lothar Mendes.
Production Supervisor Ernst Lubitsch.
From a story by Leslie Cohen.
Screenplay by Donald Davis; Florence Ryerson.
Dialogue by Viola Brothers Shore.
Camerawork by Harry Fischbeck.
Editing by Eda Warren.
Music by W. Franke Harling.
A Paramount Picture.
Released July 13, 1929.
After completing two productions at Paramount’s New York City studio, Kay Francis was summoned by their Hollywood location to begin her career as a long term contract star. From the beginning, Francis was leery of the move to Hollywood, as the thought working in pictures professionally was more terrifying than the so-so career she had built for herself on the stage.
It was the money which made up her mind, of course.
Dangerous Curves was Kay’s first production completed on the west coast. The film was a starring vehicle for Clara Bow, Paramount’s top star, then-titled Pink Tights. Richard Arlen was the leading man who shared the affections of both Bow, his true love, and Francis, the vamp who set out to steal him for herself.
Kay was later quoted about her fear of working with Hollywood stars, but Bow was kind to newcomer Francis. Legend has it that it was Bow who convinced Kay to shorten her name from Katherine, so it would fit snugly on a marquee. Also, Bow encouraged Kay to “move in a little closer” to the camera, so that Francis would get some deserved attention that the director might not have set out to give.
Richard Arlen turned out to be one of Kay’s first regular west coast friends. His chemistry in the film with both Francis and Bow was genuine, and some believed that Kay walked off with the film.
Her own opinion was a little different than the rest. Francis simply stated in her diary after viewing the final print on June 21, “Ouch!”
Personal and professional problems Bow was enduring did not cause too much chaos on the set. It was not long after the completion of Dangerous Curves that Bow found her career on the rocks at Paramount. A brief revival at Fox studios three years later did little to help bring her back to her former glory. She left the screen soon for good.
For Kay Francis, Dangerous Curves proved to be the successful launch for a star who would become one of the most prominent and admired in the decade to come.