To prove his thesis that any product--even one that doesn't exist--can be merchandized if it is advertised properly, a young man gets together with his father's savvy secretary to market a ...
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Malcolm St. Clair
To prove his thesis that any product--even one that doesn't exist--can be merchandized if it is advertised properly, a young man gets together with his father's savvy secretary to market a non-existent laundry soap. Complications ensue when his "product" turns out to be more successful than even he imagined--and now he has to deliver. Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. However, because of legal complications, this particular title was not included in the original television package and may not have ever been televised. See more »
Norman Foster plays Rodney Martin, playboy son to self made man Cyrus
Martin (Eugene Palette), head of a soap company. Cyrus has paid 5000
dollars to his secretary, statuesque Mary Grayson (Carole Lombard), to
make Rodney fall in love with her and therefore stop his silly
publicity stunts that make dad look bad in the papers and go to work.
Cyrus promises her another 5000 if the whole thing works out with
Rodney being a serious working man.
Cyrus pretends to be outraged by the match, pretends to fire Mary,
pretends to cut off Rodney without a cent if he goes through with any
marriage to her, but it is all a ruse. But the ruse is about to get out
of Cyrus' control.
Rodney meets up with slick publicity man Ambrose Peale (Skeets
Gallagher), playing his usual mischievous part. Ambrose suggests they
start on an advertising crusade for a product that doesn't even exist
yet - "13 soap". It's named by Rodney and the name means "Our soap is
an unlucky number for dirt". Rodney is determined to beat dad at his
own business. So soon there are jingles, ads, billboards with pretty
girls in bathtubs (this is the precode era - anything goes) all over
town. But Rodney and Ambrose have spent so much money on making their
product a household word they have nothing left to make a product with,
much less pay the rent.
Cyrus is angry at the 13 Soap ads everywhere he looks, and a competitor
accuses him of making his son's company a front for his own soap and
withdraws from their mutual agreement not to get into advertising wars.
Worse yet, Mary is falling for Rodney for real.
So Rodney has name recognition and no product and no money. Dad has a
product, money, and no ad campaign. How will this all work out? Watch
and find the humorous answer.
This is the beginning of Eugene Palette's grumpy roles, a type of
character that he made famous in "My Man Godfrey" and "The Lady Eve" -
the put upon self made man of industry with daffy relatives that don't
know the value of a dollar. If you are expecting Carole Lombard the
screwball comedienne to show up here, she has not found that persona
yet. As for Skeets Gallagher, he was always fun whenever he showed up
in early Paramount roles.
The only reason I can figure that this one doesn't have a higher rating
is that the copy in general circulation is a poor print taken from old
VHS tapes when it was shown on TV twenty or thirty years ago. That
doesn't mean that the film is not clever and well done. I'd recommend
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