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Search for Beauty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Search for Beauty
Search for Beauty poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byErle C. Kenton
Screenplay byClaude Binyon
David Boehm
Frank Butler
Sam Hellman
Maurine Dallas Watkins
Produced byE. Lloyd Sheldon
StarringBuster Crabbe
Ida Lupino
Robert Armstrong
James Gleason
Toby Wing
Gertrude Michael
CinematographyHarry Fischbeck
Edited byJames Smith
Music byJohn Leipold
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • February 2, 1934 (1934-02-02)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

Search for Beauty is a 1934 American pre-Code dramedy film, with some musical Busby Berkeley-esque athletic sequences, directed by Erle C. Kenton and starring Buster Crabbe and Ida Lupino (the film was released shortly before Lupino's 16th birthday). They play a pair of lovers and aquatic champion Olympians (he a swimmer, she a diver) who become the face of a health magazine, which over their objections is turned into a "skin" rag.[1] Armstrong and Michael portray ex-cons with the 'scheme' (and both have designs to break up the loving couple for themselves), and Gleason is their cohort. In his first few scenes Crabbe promotes exercise: "Get off your (pause) 'feet' and get on them!"

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Buster Crabbe in a publicity still for the film.
Buster Crabbe in a publicity still for the film.


To promote the film, and to find some of the cast, Paramount sponsored a worldwide beauty contest. One of the winners, who made her first appearance in the film, was Ann Sheridan.[2]


The film was widely panned. New York Times critic "A.D.S." wrote, "Search for Beauty is the film that Paramount manufactured as the climax of an international exploitation stunt in which thirty young men and women from various parts of the world received a free trip to Hollywood and an opportunity to get into one picture. The result is a tribute to the studio's ingenuity but a less than thrilling tidbit for the man in the street."[3] Writing in Variety, critic "Bige" agreed: "Story is just so much applesauce ... Miss Lupino, to save her kid cousin from the clutches of a roomful of evil-minded stews, does a snakehips atop a table. She didn't learn that in England."[4]


The magazine publishing company shown in the film has been interpreted as a parody of the publishing enterprises owned by Bernarr Macfadden at the time.[5]


  1. ^ Search for Beauty,, accessed October 12, 2010.
  2. ^ Jarvis, Douglas (1985). Encyclopedia of Film Stars. Gallery Books. p. 94. ISBN 9780831727956.
  3. ^ "Those Contest Winners". The New York Times. February 10, 1934. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  4. ^ "Search for Beauty". Variety. February 13, 1934. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal (2017). Any Resemblance to Actual Persons: The Real People Behind 400+ Fictional Movie Characters. McFarland. p. 276. ISBN 9781476629308.


  • Doherty, Thomas Patrick. Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press 1999. ISBN 0-231-11094-4

External links

This page was last edited on 22 June 2023, at 14:36
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