Series: Thelma Todd & Patsy Kelly

Director: James W. Horne
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Louis McManus
Sound: William Randall

Stars: Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly, James Burke, Fred Kelsey, Louis Natheaux
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 16 November 1935
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: A-35
Filming dates: 1935
Rating: 6/10

Hot Money

Available on DVD:

Thelma and Patsy are playing cards when a knock on the door interrupts them. It's the landlord, Mr. Beresford (Hooper Atchley) with an ultimatum: the girls must pay their rent by 9pm or be evicted. Patsy's undiplomatic response causes the landlord to bring forward the time to 8pm. Thelma tells Patsy to think up something to get them out of the mess they are in so Patsy picks up a small lamp and rubs it, wishing for lots of money. Just then a thief (Brooks Benedict) bursts into the room and tells the girls that 'Trigger Louie' is after him, before throwing Thelma a money belt containing $50,000 in cash and tells them to look after it for him and if he doesn't return within the hour they can keep it. The man leaves and locks the girls in their apartment but is soon confronted by Louie (Natheaux) who kills him in the stairwell.
The police arrive and put the hotel on lockdown, with nobody allowed to leave. Louie sneaks down to the lobby and tries to find the money belt on the dead thief but the cops see him and order him back to his room. The girls sneak out of the fire escape but are captured by the cops and are brought into the lobby for interrogation, but they refuse to co-operate. Louie seizes the opportunity to switch off the lights and steal the dead body. When the lights come back on the cops are puzzled as to where the dead man has gone and begin their search;, whilst Louie has taken the body up to the girls' room, having retrieved their door key from the hallway upstairs.
Thelma goes back to the apartment to rest, citing a headache, and not realising the murderer is hiding in her closet with the dead man. Meanwhile Patsy outsmarts the police downstairs with her mouth. Louie hides the body in the girls' bed as Patsy returns to the apartment and thinks it is Thelma under the sheets. She is just about to pour a vase of water over her (seems a bit bloody harsh?) when Thelma appears from the bathroom. The girls discover the dead man and panic. Louie overhears the girls talking of how they have the dead man's money and thus he confronts them. The girls rush out of the apartment and into the hallway, with Patsy tripping over officer Kelsey [see favourite bit].
Kelsey hands his gun to Patsy (not the best idea he has ever had) and goes for help. She shoots his hat off. It gets worse. As Louie hides the body under the pull-down bed, he then gets under the covers to hide. The sergeant comes to take control of the situation and fires aimlessly into the closet, believing Louis is in there. Patsy tries to explain to the cops about how this whole situation came about when Louie puts a gun in her back. She tries to make a wish on her lamp when both Thelma and Kelsey see the dead man's shoes sticking out from under the bed. Thelma screams and Patsy gives us an even better look at he legs [see image, right] as she raises them high in the air before being pulled up into the wall on the bed. The cops bring the bed back down, during which time Patsy has knocked Louie out with the gun she had. The sergeant quickly grabs Louie and arrests him. Unfortunately the film simply ends at this point with the viewer wondering what the hell happened next?

Favourite bit
When Patsy comes running out of the apartment and trips over the cop. Show us some leg, Patsy!!!

Copyrighted October 28, 1935.
This was the 19th film in the series to be released.
Thelma & Patsy's room is 207.
When anybody can just walk up to a power switch in the hotel and knock out the entire electricity?
When Thelma returns to her apartment she simply opens the door and walks in, but earlier she was aware that the door had been locked from the outside so why did she not notice the door was no longer locked?
Police officer Kelsey is a bit of an ass-kisser, isn't he? How many times does he compliment the sergeant? He's also stupid: he hands over his gun to Patsy whilst he goes to get assistance.
After Patsy and Louie end up in the bed together they are facing the wrong way around when the bed is lowered again. It's not logical.
My opinion
Not your usual run of the mill Hal Roach comedy; this one involves a murder! Very disappointing with so many loose ends not explained or tidied up at the end. Seemed like a rushed finish.

Thelma Todd
Patsy Kelly
James Burke
Police sergeant Burke
Fred Kelsey
Police officer Kelsey
Louis Natheaux
Trigger Louie
Brooks Benedict
Hooper Atchley
Beresford, apartment manager
Charlie Hall
Tony Campanaro
Bobby Dunn
Lee Phelps
Anya Taranda
Telephone operator
Sherry Hall
Apartment desk clerk
Monte Vandergrift
Lee Prather

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

James L. Neibaur (help)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Bobby Dunn)

This page was last updated on: 26 October 2019