Ann Adams and William Hayward get married and she has a secretary's job in a law office, while finishing her schooling, and she soon makes junior partner and is just a brilliant lawyer. ...
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Ann Adams and William Hayward get married and she has a secretary's job in a law office, while finishing her schooling, and she soon makes junior partner and is just a brilliant lawyer. Meanwhile, hubby has a mechanized draftsman job and and acts like a mechanical person...except when he sings. He gets fed up with Ann turning their home into a bar-associate club where all the lawyers argue cases out of court, and he drops out and drops in at a nightclub and gets a job as a singer, and makes more money than when he was draftsman in an architect's office....and begins to imply that Ann should now be content with being a housewife, and Ann is having none of that. Later, she and her lawyer friends drop in at the club where William is singing, and she sees William getting vamped by one of the girl entertainers, gets sore and walks out..after insulting William. And..so they part and William gets an apartment and then a girl is found dead in his apartment, having accidentally strangled ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Charming musical drama, with pro and anti-feminist statements
While this 1938 Columbia film is usually described as a drama, with 7 featured songs dispersed throughout the film, I submit it should be described as a musical drama. It's essentially a remake(nearly an exact copy) of the 1933 "Ann Carver's Profession", except that it has more and different songs, and the infidelity angle is toned down to please the censors.
It's the story of a young couple, in which the man(Lanny Ross, as Bill Hayward) becomes dissatisfied with his marriage, because his wife(Gloria Stuart, as Ann) has achieved a measure of public recognition for her rise from secretary of a law firm to a top ranking lawyer. In contrast, he feels his public recognition has slipped from being the star football player at his school to being a so so draftsman at an architectural firm. He feels he has become Mr. Ann Hayward. and feels neglected as a spouse because of Ann's increasingly heavy workload.
Bill has a good singing voice and memory for lyrics, thus decides to scrap his architectural job to be a nightclub singer, which he feels gives him more public recognition. However, this creates even more of a problem that they see little of each other, and he cannot accompany her to evening social events. Eventually, Bill moves out, and in with a boozy female singer(Joan Marsh as June Lane). She loses her job, and drinks more, creating friction with Bill. One evening, she passes out from drink, and bizarrely is strangled by her long necklace, which catches on the armchair as she falls. Bill is mostly blamed for murdering her, although the evidence is all circumstantial. In court, things are not going his way, until Ann, rejected by Bill as his council, takes a stand, saying that what the prosecuting attorney says about Bill is mostly lies. She blames herself for the breakup of their marriage, by being too ambitious in her profession, neglecting him. She has decided the perks she has gotten from her recent fame weren't worth the cost in private happiness.
This is a warning to women, in general, not to take up a profession that will consume their private lives, unless they are willing to remain single and uncommitted. It's also a warning of the difficulty of taking up a profession that is traditionally only practiced by men. This was later explored in "Calamity Jane" and "Anne Get Your Gun", for example. Thus, there are both pro and anti-messages for married women working out of the home.
Incidentally, in the Soundtracks section of this site, it's erroneously stated that Lanny Ross sang all of the songs. Actually, Joan Marsh(June) sang 2 numbers: "Sky High" and "Naughty, Naughty". These 2 songs were composed by Milton Drake, whereas all the songs that Lanny sang were composed by Ben Oakland and Oscar Hammerstein II. These include "That Week in Paris", "When Your in the Room", "A Mist is Over the Moon" "Victory Song", and "Home, in Your Arms". Incidentally, "Home, in Your Arms" was the last to be sung, appropriate when Ann and Bill had made up.
Roy Benson(George) serves as orchestra leader and also does a few magic tricks while on the podium: quite a unique combination!
I much enjoyed this film, and you can see it at YouTube.
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