DirectorGeorge Archainbaud Music directorRoy Webb, Harry Ruby CountryUnited States
Release dateApril 11, 1930 (1930-04-11) (US) Based onThe play, The Chatterbox
by Bayard Veiller CastBebe Daniels (Gertie Jones), Ben Lyon (Jimmy Hartigan), Robert Emmett OConnor (Detective Kelcey), Daisy Bel (Mrs Matson), John Ince (Mr William Matson) Similar moviesFramed (1930), The Fall Guy (1930), Bebe Daniels appears in Alias French Gertie and The Maltese Falcon, Night Court (1932), Shooting Straight
Alias French Gertie is an American Pre-Code crime film directed by George Archainbaud, with a screenplay by Wallace Smith, based upon the unproduced play, The Chatterbox by Bayard Veiller. It starred Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon, who were making their first on-screen appearance together. A copy of this film survives in the Library of Congress.
Marie is a jewel thief; posing as French maid, she has cased out the safe of her employer and intends to steal its contents. However, the night she chooses for the robbery, there is another thief who also shows up to empty the safe, Jimmy. Jimmy opens the safe, and the two agree to split the contents fifty-fifty. They are interrupted by the arrival of the police. Jimmy gallantly secretes Marie away, and takes the rap himself, impressing her.
After serving his year's sentence, Jimmy is reunited with Marie, who now goes by the alias of Gertie, and the two form a partnership in crime. After several bank robberies, Marie and Jimmy agree that after one last haul, they will go straight. Marie, who has become friends with the next-door neighbors in her apartment building, Mr. and Mrs. Matson, who entice Jimmy to invest his $30,000 savings in Matson's business. Unfortunately, the Matsons turn out to be crooks themselves, and have swindled Jimmy out of his life's savings.
When Jimmy determines to go back to safecracking, beginning with Marie's former employers, Marie hatches a plot to encourage him to go straight. When a good-hearted detective, Kelcey, lets them off the hook with the promise that they will go straight, they agree.
Bebe Daniels as Marie
Ben Lyon as Jimmy
Robert Emmett O'Connor as Kelcey
John Ince as Mr. Matson
Daisy Belmore as Mrs. Matson
Betty Pierce as Nellie
Nella Walker as Morton's Wife
The New York Times critic, Mordaunt Hall, gave the film a lukewarm review, praising the acting of Bebe Daniels, while not being as kind to Ben Lyon. Overall, he said the film, "... has not been handled with the subtlety and smoothness it deserves. Nevertheless, up to a certain point, it is a production that holds the interest, but what should have been the main idea is sacrificed for a more obvious turn of events."