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William A. Wellman
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William A. Wellman
Alison is owner and successful manager of an automobile factory. She also has a good relation to her employees - especially the male ones, which she is known to invite to her bed for some time and then dump quickly. Only the inventor Jim Thorne refuses her offers - will she fire or marry him? Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
When Jack L. Warner saw the initial version of the film, as directed largely by William A. Wellman, he disliked the performance of the actor playing George Cooper, and insisted that all the scenes featuring him be re-shot with Johnny Mack Brown brought in to play Cooper. Because Wellman was no longer available, Michael Curtiz was brought in to direct the re-shot scenes. Curiously, Curtiz ended up getting the only directing credit in the final cut of the movie. See more »
At the 5.5 minute mark, camera equipment is visible in the car reflection. See more »
Ruth Chatterton (as Alison Drake) is the successful president of "Drake Motors"; she runs a tight ship, and has a yen for good-looking men. In fact, she enjoys treating men the way they have always treated women; and, attractive new hires are invited to Ms. Chatterton's mansion for an evening of vodka and sex. When invitees get out of line, or expect more than a "one night stand", Chatterton has them transferred. The boss woman goes unsatisfied when evening "pick up" George Brent (as Jim Thorne) turns her down. When she discovers Mr. Brent is a new hire at her company, Chatterton again tries, and fails, to seduce him. Has Chatterton finally met her match?
"Female" looks most like a William A. Wellman film, but boasts three directors; and, here's how (more or less): The film's director was William Dieterle; then, he became ill. So, the film was directed (mostly) by Mr. Wellman. However, Jack Warner was unhappy with George Blackwood's performance (as Cooper). The studio ordered the scenes with Mr. Blackwood re-shot. Then, Michael Curtiz directed (only) the scenes with Blackwood's replacement, Johnny Mack Brown (as Cooper). Still, the completed film was to credit Wellman (rightly). But, Wellman and Warner Brothers terminated their relationship (unhappily). So, the studio credited Mr. Curtiz.
With whomever directing, Chatterton is terrific; sadly, her efforts are ruined by an ending which is almost repulsive - what this film does to Chatterton's character is criminal. Still, "Female" is well worth watching, mainly for Chatterton's great style, and performance. Brent (her off-screen husband, at the time) is at his very best, too. And, the supporting cast is great fun. For example, Ferdinand Gottschalk (as Pettigrew) amuses in the workplace; and, don't miss Rafaela Ottiano (as Della) getting a swat in the derrière! Note Ms. Ottiano was Greta Garbo's maid in "Grand Hotel" (1932); incidentally, Garbo used the alias "Harriet Brown" (Lois Wilson's character), and the soon divorced leading man George Brent, from this film. Small world.
****** Female (11/3/33) Michael Curtiz ~ Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Johnny Mack Brown, Lois Wilson
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