High Pressure | Chicago Reader

High Pressure

This snappy (and remarkably timeless) Warner Brothers farce from 1932 features William Powell as a scheming public relations guru hired to promote a new process that supposedly turns sewage into rubber. Orchestrating an elaborate scam, he sets up a glamorous corporate front with phony executives to inflate the value of the shares he's furiously peddling to a gullible public, while neither the inventor nor his mysterious process are anywhere to be found. Mervyn LeRoy's typically energetic direction keeps this moving at a lively clip, aided by Powell and an excellent supporting cast. Yet the conclusion is surprisingly flat, a letdown from the finely pitched mayhem that precedes it. With Evelyn Brent, Frank McHugh, and George Sidney. 74 min.

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