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Behind Office Doors (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 15 March 1931 (USA)
Mary Linden is the secretary who is the unheralded power behind successful executive James Duneen. He takes her for granted until rival Wales tries to take her away from him.

Director:

(as Melville Brown)

Writers:

(by) (as Alan Brener Schultz), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mary Linden
Robert Ames ...
James Duneen
...
Ronnie Wales
Catherine Dale Owen ...
Ellen May Robinson
Kitty Kelly ...
Delores Kogan
...
Daisy Presby
Charles Sellon ...
John Ritter
William Morris ...
Banker Charles H. Robinson
George MacFarlane ...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Mary Linden is the secretary who is the unheralded power behind successful executive James Duneen. He takes her for granted until rival Wales tries to take her away from him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Private Secretary  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Duneen hires Daisy at $50/week - prompting a concerned look from Mary. She had a good reason as the average salary for all workers in 1931 was $35/week, and secretaries on average made only $20/week. See more »

Goofs

When Duneen stands up from sitting on the edge of his desk and moves forward and off camera to the right, his mouth moves as if saying something, but no words are heard. See more »

Quotes

Mary Linden: Robinson of the City Trust could be sold on a proposition to buy Ritter's stock for you, and pay for it out of the profits.
James Duneen: [grabs her cigarette and sniffs it] No, it isn't hashish.
See more »

Soundtracks

Three Little Words
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Played as dance music in the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
precode with beautiful Mary Astor
29 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mary Astor was so beautiful, but for some reason, she's cast as someone taken for granted in "Behind Office Doors," a 1931 film. Astor had a great career starting in silents and culminating with "The Maltese Falcon," in 1941. She moved into character roles in the '50s, and played her last role in 1967, due to a heart condition.

Here Astor plays Mary Linden, an executive assistant to James Duneen (Robert Ames). She is the brains of the operation as he seems to only have two brain cells and one of them is on vacation. For reasons known only to herself, she's in love with him. He can't see her for dust and is not only a womanizer, but he hires a few of his bimbo girlfriends, one of whom buys sexy lingerie and shows it off to Mary.

In the beginning of the film Mary meets Ronnie Wales (Ricardo Cortez) and he's crazy about her. One problem - he's married and not living with his wife. She's too interested in her boss, but eventually Duneen's womanizing gets to her and she leaves, heartbroken.

This movie has many precode elements - trashy women, hash, sexual harassment, adultery, sexual innuendo.

The main problem with it is that Mary is an idiot! Why isn't the boss played by someone good-looking and quick-witted like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.? She deserved better than this shlub for sure. And what was his problem? He has a beautiful secretary who's holding him together, and he's looking around, sending flowers to other women and hiring her an "assistant?" All in all, very '30s, and very not feminist.


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