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After graduation from Hampden University, Bill "Lightning" Graham, a football star, and Ann Carver, who just passed her bar exam, marry. Instead of pursuing a career in law, Ann takes on the role of housewife, while Bill is employed as a draftman. When Ann is asked to take on a highly profiled legal case, she accepts, and wins. She becomes an overnight success and a media darling. Meanwhile, Bill's career is stagnate and Ann is supporting him financially causing the couple to spend less time together. Bill decides to take a job at "Club Mirador" to make more money. Carole Rogers, a sexy alcoholic singer at the club is taken by Bill's good-looks, voice and physic. She makes a pass at him when Ann walks into the club leaving Ann with the impression that Bill is cheating on her. After Ann's accusations, Bill moves out. Carole knowing this, comes to Bill's apartment to seduce him. He rejects her and leaves. Carole becomes drunk and falls over his sofa catching her necklace on it and ... Written by
The scene in which Ann Carver (Fay Wray) wins a breach-of-promise suit for her client by forcing his accuser to lower her dress sleeve to prove that she's really Black was inspired by a famous 1924 court case in New York. Socialite Leonard "Kip" Rhinelander sought to have his marriage to former servant girl Alice Jones annulled on the ground that she was half-Black and had concealed this from him. In the real case, Jones not only had to expose her shoulder but had to strip from the waist up, and the jury members examined her torso in the judge's chambers to determine the color of her nipples and therefore decide whether she was Black or white. Also, unlike the rich client in the movie, Rhinelander lost his case. See more »
There are some films that stand the test of time. "Ann Carver's Profession" DEFINITELY isn't one of them.
This 1933 film stars Fay Wray, Gene Raymond, and Claire Dodd. The story will leave you in shock.
Raymond plays a college football star, Bill Graham, who now is working his way up in business, except that he feels stagnant. His wife Ann (Wray) was an attorney, and now she's his wife, and they're very much in love. One night at a party, she criticizes a big attorney for the way he's trying a case, and he wants to hire her. Her husband is thrilled for her and very proud.
Ann becomes a star overnight when she replaces the lead attorney on a case that will have your jaw drop to the floor. A man is on trial for consorting with a black woman he claims he did not know was black. She is on the stand and has to show her shoulder so that everyone can see her skin is darker than it is on her face. Ann wins the case by bringing women in wearing bathing suits and asking the prosecution to pick out the black women.
Okay, we made it through. The boss is so impressed that he gives her $5,000, equal to $84,000 today - this is when people made something like $100 a month, and that was a good salary. Her husband has just gotten a raise, but when she shows him her check, he doesn't say anything about it.
As Ann becomes more famous, Bill feels like he's going nowhere. He takes a job singing in a nightclub, which in the beginning Ann wanted him to take. Now, she's embarrassed and furious. He meets a woman there who is crazy about him; he starts drinking and the two have an affair. One night, she dies by accident. Bill is arrested for her murder. Ann defends him.
Ann is clearly portrayed as the villain here, putting her career before her husband and becoming haughty. Today when she got married, she would have kept working. In those days, the husband was considered a failure if his wife worked. Two-career households are very difficult, no one is denying that, and finding time together takes work and commitment. But that isn't what Ann Carver's Profession is about. It's about the importance of a woman putting her husband and her husband's ego first and taking a back seat.
Someone mentioned Fay Wray's acting in the courtroom scene as being over the top. Watch John Beal's courtroom speech in Madame X. Today it seems over the top. Back then, that was considered good acting. A lot of actors came from the stage and brought that training to film, and I think the acting on stage back then was a little bigger than we see today. As Bette Davis said, "Actors today want to be real. But real acting is larger than life." If you see this listed on TCM, take a look at it. It's a wonderful look at the mores and attitudes back then, so different from what they are today. The cast is good, and the film moves quickly. It's an artifact -- in fact, it's an antique.
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