Not So Dumb

Not So Dumb is a 1930 pre-Code comedy motion picture starring Marion Davies, directed by King Vidor, and produced for Cosmopolitan Productions for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Not So Dumb
Directed byKing Vidor
Produced byMarion Davies
King Vidor
Written byWanda Tuchock
Edwin Justus Mayer
Lucille Newmark
Based onDulcy
1921 play
by George S. Kaufman
Marc Connelly
StarringMarion Davies
Elliott Nugent
Raymond Hackett
CinematographyOliver T. Marsh
Edited byBlanche Sewell
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • January 17, 1930 (1930-01-17)
Running time
76 min.
CountryUnited States

It is based on the stage play Dulcy by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly that starred Lynn Fontanne. The film resulted in a financial loss for the studio of $39,000.[1]

This is a re-make of the 1923 film Dulcy. See also the 1940 film of the same name (Dulcy).

Plot summary

Dulcinea Parker (Marion Davies) goes to the train station to meet the Forbes'; mother Eleanor (Julia Faye), father Charles (William Holden), and daughter Angela (Sally Starr), whom she has invited to spend the weekend. We are also introduced to her new butler Perkins (George Davis), who is an ex-convict on parole.

Dulcinea, ever the "dumb blonde", has a habit of doing the wrong thing. She hilariously misquotes common expressions and butchers the King's English. For example, she say's she's been exiled when she means excoriated. She and her brother Bill, whom she calls Willie (Raymond Hackett), who's in love with Angela, host the Forbes' and several other guests for the weekend. Dulcinea is scheming to get Mr. Forbes to invest in her fiance' Gordon's (Elliott Nugent) costume jewelry business.

She plays matchmaker to Angela by pairing her with the flamboyant "scenario writer" Vincent Leach (Franklin Pangborn), who enthusiastically tells his latest story for over two hours. Dulcinea's matchmaking efforts are fruitful, and Angela plans to elope with Vincent. Willie, still carrying a torch for Angela, offers to drive the clandestine couple to their wedding. Happily, only Angela & Willie return, married!

Dulcinea also entertains a golf enthusiast, Schuyler Van Dyke, who offers to fund Gordon's enterprise (and shamelessly flirts with Mrs. Forbes). Emboldened, Gordon tells off Mr. Forbes. All is well until a man named Patterson arrives; the brother of "Van Dyke", who apparently suffers from delusions of grandeur. Realizing that Gordon's funding is a fantasy, panic ensues. But, since Mr. Forbes recognizes Mr. Patterson as the real Schuyler Van Dyke's attorney, he doesn't believe Van Dyke's a fake! So, luckily for all, Mr. Forbes outbids Van Dyke's investment, thus making Dulcinea an accidental hero and a Not So Dumb blonde.



  1. Nasaw, David. The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. pg. 411.

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