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William A. Wellman
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Kurt Anderson is the tyrannical manager of a New York department store in financial straits. He thinks nothing of firing an employee of more than 20 years or of toying with the affections of every woman he meets. One such victim is Madeline, a beautiful young woman in need of a job. Anderson hires her as a salesgirl, but not before the two spend the night together. Madeline is ashamed, especially after she falls for Martin West, a rising young star at the store. Her biggest fear is that Martin finds out the truth about her "career move." Written by
A standout performance by Warren William as Anderson, the hard, uncompromising, ruthless and feared-by-most General Manager of a giant department store helps make this a really excellent and interesting film. With climbing profits over the years, the depression has hit the store with a downfall and Anderson is put in complete charge to boost up sales - and he will go so far as to ruin any man who doesn't live up to his high expectations. He likes women, but not for marriage - his motto towards females is "love 'em and leave 'em". He soon meets beautiful Loretta Young who is desperate to get a job at the store, apparently a hard nut to crack (and she, apparently, will do whatever it takes to get it as she spends the night with him at his apartment despite her indication she would like to go home). Anyway - she's hired on as a model even after she said she would like to be hired for her "brain" - okey dokey - and soon has met and married a gung-ho salesman (Wallace Ford) who has been promoted as Anderson's new assistant. Anderson believes that a man should be married to his "job" only - so the marriage is kept a secret, and the workaholic boss expects his assistant to be there by his side pretty much night and day.
Okay, this is a really terrific pre-code film, entertaining through every scene, and featuring one of my thirties favorites, Warren William, who pretty much steals the film. As for the women, though Loretta Young is fine in her part here and looks really gorgeous - it is the scenes with adorable Alice White that are the most fun to watch as she plays Polly, a blonde who takes extra pay from Anderson to do his bidding seducing male employees for various purposes. A very enjoyable film and a treat to see.
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