Three department store girls--Connie, Franky, and Jerry--share an apartment on West 91st Street in New York City. Each earns little more than 20 dollars per week. Jerry is the sensible one,...
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Three department store girls--Connie, Franky, and Jerry--share an apartment on West 91st Street in New York City. Each earns little more than 20 dollars per week. Jerry is the sensible one, but the others throw themselves at amoral rich men in an attempt to hook one and better themselves. They end up being hurt and disappointed despite Jerry's attempts to warn them. Written by
Thomas McWilliams <email@example.com>
Joan Crawford in another of the alliterative early talkie series she did (others were "Our Dancing Daughters" and "Our Modern Maidens; one shudders to think what they would have done with the letter "C", and perhaps that's why they skipped it!) Jerry (Crawford), Frankie (Sebastian) and Connie (Page) are three NY department store shopgirls who live in a cramped apartment and use a hammer and a nail to open their canned dinner while listening to jazz on the phonograph and conserving the hot water so they can take a bath. Jerry's pals long for rescue by a rich man, but practical Jerry knows better; she's been there, done that, and knows that beaus with bucks only want one thing with a shopgirl, and it's not marriage. Still, though, there is that dreamy Tony Jardine (Montgomery, at the height of his boyish sexiness), son of the store owner, who seems to take a shine to Jerry and vice versa. A telling scene comes when Jerry has to model some lingerie for a store customer in Tony's presence, opening her robe to display herself to his eyes, making her totally vulnerable. While Jerry's pals find the men they think they want, Jerry won't give in to Tony's rather caddish overtures. And there is that nice Joe from the store with the flivver and gin flask. He's not dreamy, but he is solid and upstanding, and that's what Jerry wants. She has second thoughts when both her friends seem to have found love AND riches. But she can't forget Tony's kisses. Maybe she should abandon up her ideals and stop suffering and give in to Tony already.
The cast is wonderful here and Joan has lost her stagy silent mannerisms and you can just see a glimmer of the Crawford that was to come. The Depression was on, but you wouldn't know it by Joan (or this character), who persevered in spite of everything. Joan was the most ambitious actress ever to step tootsie in Hollywood and seems to have been propelled along by sheer force of will, but she did have real acting talent, and this movie displays it. Bob Montgomery plays another of his dependable rich-boy roles and looks great in a tuxedo, chatting idly about Oyster Bay. At one point, Jerry won't make out with him, so he says "Let's have a cigarette," like he just invented it. (Don't you miss smoking? I do). What a great line.
Will Jerry and her pals triumph or will they be crushed by love that was just an illusion? Watch and find out!
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