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It is the bottom of the depression and Sol Glass has the idea that the girls in the stenographic department should be used to entertain the clients. Seems the clients are tiring of the regular fast and hard women and this would be a change that would allow the girls to go to dinners and see shows. Tom does not want his fiancée, Flo, to go out with clients until he needs her to close a contract with Daniel. After that, she finds that Tom is two timing her with Birdie so she goes out again with Daniel. Everything is going well for a time until Daniel needs her to close a contract with Haines. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wow, even for a Pre-Code picture, this film has a very, very adult plot. While they don't use the exact words, audiences of the day understood exactly what the subtext was in this film! Such sexually-charged films would only be made for another year before the new and strengthened Production Code eliminated many family unfriendly topics from film (such as abortion, adultery and the like).
The film begins at a company meeting. The boss is complaining that the "ladies" that the company has been hooking up with customers have become, at times, an embarrassment--with shenanigans such as locking the customers naked outside their hotel rooms! It's obvious that these women they employ are actually prostitutes. One guy has a suggestion that instead of availing themselves of these "entrepreneurs" that they use women from the steno pool!
In the next scene, it's funny how one of the managers, Tommy, is suggesting to the girls that they volunteer for such work because they'll be wined and dined and entertained. It clearly is implied they'd sleep with the customers if necessary! What a sleazy plot! One of the steno girls is Loretta Young and she's the girlfriend of Tommy. Because he doesn't want her to be molested, he won't let her volunteer for this duty!! However, when one of the more "generous" (i.e, trampy) girls from the pool begins playing hide the salami with Loretta's boyfriend, he relents and tricks Loretta into volunteering. When the client (Lyle Talbot) meets Loretta later that night, he naturally assumes she's a call-girl and tries to push her into having sex. She responds that she's not that kind of girl (YET SHE VOLUNTEERED FOR THIS JOB)! He's left stunned and the entire audience is left with lots of inappropriate and confusing ideas about sex, date rape and the like. After all, he did assume (correctly, actually) that she was "that sort of girl"--though she got cold feet.
While the idea "she said NO but meant YES" is a stupid notion, this film seems to say this is true! And, it makes women out to be hunks of meat--just there to service men. Nice film, huh? And, considering that there were no ratings for films, this movie could easily have had kids in the audience! Who says that they were prudes back in the "good ol' days"?! Also, in a further way to confuse women about dating and sex, later Talbot asks Young out again after apologizing for his behavior their prior meeting. So, the guy practically rips your clothes off and you agree to go out with him again. What sort of message is this giving people?!
It's obvious that Talbot and Young will eventually fall in love, which seems odd in light of everything! In the meantime, Young has no idea her Tommy is pond scum. So, he keeps her dangling--during which time she and Talbot talk over the phone and write a lot. So, the boyfriend is evil and sleeps around but Young isn't exactly Miss Goody Two-Shoes either! What a bunch of depraved people! Even by today's standards they are a rather despicable group of people.
Oddly, despite Tommy's tramping around and his pushing Young to "be nice to customers, he suddenly becomes jealous. He storms her her home late at night and seems ready to force himself on her as he shouts "My money's just as good as theirs. Just close your eyes and pretend I'm one of them!!" WOW. What hard-core dialog! As far as the rest of the film goes, see it for yourself to see what happens next. It's pretty predictable but well acted and constructed--even if it must rank among the seediest films of the era. Even without nudity (like some films did have in the early 30s), the plot is every bit as risqué as some of the more famous Pre-Code films such as RED-HEADED WOMAN and BABY FACE.
The ending of the film is rather depraved and violent. And, in the process, Young is nearly raped! And, only moments later, he attacker asks her to marry him....and she agrees!!!!!!!!Yikes--what a horrid film! What a horrid message! I agree with another one of the reviewers--at times this is all very hard to watch!
It's no wonder with films like that that many in the audience stopped attending films until they cleaned up their act. There was no way to know what films were and weren't family friendly and people were getting fed up with it. Now I am not suggesting that the incredibly restrictive Production Code was the best solution (it sometimes went overboard and forced moralistic endings on many films that didn't need them) but there's no way I would have wanted to take a kid to see this and then sit there trying to explain what's happening in the film!
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