Rather like Universal's take on Dagwood and Blondie
I had never even heard of this one until it showed up at Capitolfest - the classic movie festival in Rome, NY the other day.
It is a rather odd take on the familiar 30's plot of the middling employee who is just sure he is destined for greater things, but is taken for granted by his boss. One morning Skinner (Glenn Tryon), on the way out the door, promises his adoring wife that he will demand a raise from the boss. Now Skinner is invisible to his boss, and he's obviously afraid of him too, but he valiantly goes into the boss' office and - with great comic delay and difficulty - demands his raise. The boss tells him that he is lucky just to have a job, and Skinner slinks out.
The problem is, he walks into his home that night and hears his wife on the phone telling her mother that he is getting a raise and how proud she is of him. So Skinner lies and his wife begins spending the raise he never got until their bank account is zeroed out. Meanwhile, Skinner's boss is being forced into a merger with another company and Skinner's job is a casualty of the situation. How will this all work out? I'd say watch and find out, but chances are you'll never see it outside of an archival showing.
The odd take on this situation is that Skinner is dishonest with his wife not because he is afraid of her, but because she thinks so much of him he just can't bear to tell her the truth. His wife winds up practically killing the guy with kindness and hero worship.
Tryon is good here, best when he is at the center of a comic situation, such as an auction that he winds up conducting at a charity ball for the poor, which is ironic because you can tell Skinner thinks he could easily become poor if his wife keeps spending! Oddest line in the film
As Skinner eats breakfast he prides himself on the fact that
President Hoover agrees with him on something he believes about business. Of course, this film was made before the Great Depression really hit hard and before most people blamed Hoover for it. So looking back, it is an unintentionally funny line.
I'd recommend it if you ever get the chance.
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