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The Meanest Gal in Town (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 12 January 1934 (USA)
A stranded actress turned manicurist affects the lives of people in a small American town.


Russell Mack (uncredited)


H.W. Hanemann, Arthur T. Horman (story) (as Arthur Horman) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Zasu Pitts ... Tillie Prescott
Pert Kelton ... Lulu White
El Brendel ... Chris Peterson
James Gleason ... Duke Slater
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Jack Hayden (as 'Skeets' Gallagher)
Edward McWade ... Clark - Tillie's Clerk


Actress Lulu White gets stranded in a small American town when the owner of her acting troupe absconds with the funds. She uses her sexual wiles to get a meal out of Duke Slater, who leaves in a huff when her hotel room is also occupied by another stranded actress. The next day, she tries to get a job as a manicurist at Chris Peterson's barbershop, but since he has so little business, he refuses. While he is away, however, she sets up shop to ply her trade, and in no time the shop is swarming with men getting manicures and haircuts. Word gets to Tillie Prescott, the woman who Chris has been courting for the last ten years, and who he promised to marry when he gets enough money to get a second chair in his barbershop. Out of jealousy and desperation, she buys the chair for $300, but at a chamber of commerce outing Chris introduces Lulu as the one woman behind his success. This so humiliates and enrages Tillie she now refuses to marry Chris. Meanwhile, salesman Jack Hayden has gotten ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Red-Flannel Romance that will Keep You in Stitches!










Release Date:

12 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hearts and Flowers See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

You Either Love Him or You Hate Him
28 May 2008 | by MaleejandraSee all my reviews

Chris Peterson (El Brendel) is an unsuccessful barber in a small town. His fiancée of ten years is Tillie Prescott (Zasu Pitts), a hardworking woman who just can't wait to get married. Chris wants to prove he is successful by obtaining a second chair in his barber shop before tying the knot, but Tillie is impatient. She is constantly taken advantage of by Chris and she feels she is the real brain behind the couple. This proves to be false when she falls prey to a business scam. Meanwhile Chris's business starts booming when an actress (Pert Kelton) takes up shop as a manicurist to make some extra money. Her wiggling hips make the shop a hot spot for the local men.

A fun movie with a cast of unknowns, The Meanest Gal in Town is not likely to show up outside of film conventions and collector's homes, but it is an enjoyable film. Brendel makes use of his simpleton Swedish character and provides much of the comedy. Some people hate him; I love him. He is sweet and rather funny, illustrated by scenes like the opener where he strums a ukulele and sings with the accompaniment of a howling dog. Pitts is more likable here than in some of her other movies. In spite of Brendel's sweetness, it is difficult not to root for Pitts too, especially when Chris treats Tillie badly.

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