Ruth Hussey works for Robert Young and is preparing to go on vacation, so she instructs Virginia Grey what to do and how and when to do it in her absence. But then Bob enters the office and we see that Bob and Ruth are more than boss and secretary. Long story short, she doesn't go on her vacation after all, when Bob on the spot proposes to her. But, after missing her train, instead of jumping in with both feet, her pride gets in the way and she tells him they need to wait, because essentially they come from different backgrounds. So he decides, in order to understand her point of view, he must live with her family for a spell. Enter Ruth's zany family, especially Lew Ayres, who plays a cousin and who is constantly spouting off about "the great working class." Picture this. A rich man needs his appendix out. No problem. He can pay it. A poor man needs his appendix out. No problem. He's poor and not expected to pay. But the working class, woe is him. He's always behind the eight ball with bills and an operation he's expected to pay and go in debt because of it. This film is never dull and is very stimulating with constant bickering between him and sister Lana Turner, who dreams of a plush life, with nice things and keeps calling their place "a dump." Lana makes the most of her supporting role and gives a great performance, especially in her big crying scene. It could be said that she stands out as the highlight of the film, aside from Lew's tirades. (Lana had already been in the Andy Hardy series at this point and would make two more pictures with costar Lew Ayres. Lana's stardom was definitely on the ascendant. And, by the way, this is the first time she and costar Virginia Grey would be in the same picture together. Ms. Grey would be Lana's most frequent costar in her career.) Guy Kibbee is the father, who works in a hardware school and the mother loves the sea, as her ancestors were whalers. From stimulating conversation about "the great working class" and health reform (ideas still relevant today) and the chaotic life it appears the Thayers live, this short film delivers a punch and will leave you pleasantly fulfilled. "Rich Man, Poor Girl" is a stepping stone in the career of Lana Turner that has gotten lost in the shuffle, but its ideas are timeless and its characters are too vivid to forget.
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