Vinnie made his Hollywood screen debut (which he jokingly used to pronounce as his ‘day-boo’ during many of his talk show appearances) in the 1938 screwball comedy, Service de Luxe, in which he was cast as a potential matinee idol opposite Hollywood’s darling of the day, Constance Bennett.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Glamorous career girl Helen Murphy (Bennett) runs the Dorothy Madison Service, that provides assistance to wealthy customers. Country boy Robert Wade (Price) is an inventor trying to secure funding for his new three-wheeled tractor. When the two meet, they fall in love. But complications arise preventing their ‘getting it on’ until the typical happy ending…
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT?
This bubbly slapstick romantic comedy (which was shot in August 1938 and released in the US in October of the same year) was a major vehicle for Hollywood darling Constance Bennett (who was a big name in the 1930s – both on and off the screen), and marked the beginning of Vincent Price’s Hollywood screen career.
Vinnie is certainly suave, charismatic, and showed great comic skill, but Universal really didn’t know what to do with the character actor who had cut his teeth treading the boards following his 1935 Broadway debut in Victoria Regina – which ran for two engagements at New York’s Broadhurst Theatre, ending in 1937. After completing the screwball comedy, Price returned to the stage for a revival of Outward Bound on Broadway – at the Playhouse Theatre – which ran for 255 performances from 22 December 1938 to 22 July 1939.