Seeing her chance, 25-year-old heiress (Virginia Bruce) flees from her over-protective grandfather with none of her fortune in her purse. On the streets of New York, she is befriended by a ...
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Norman Z. McLeod
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Seeing her chance, 25-year-old heiress (Virginia Bruce) flees from her over-protective grandfather with none of her fortune in her purse. On the streets of New York, she is befriended by a shop girl (Patsy Kelly) . The shop girl takes her in and gets her a job at the store which is part of a chain owned by the heiress. Unbeknownst to the newsworthy heiress, her true identity is known to a single reporter (March). Written by
According to a New York Times article on 16 October 1938, the Citizen's Chiropractic Committee of New York State sued the film producers, authors and Alan Mowbray for $100,000 claiming damages to the profession. One doctor was very upset that the film implied it was possible to go through a chiropractic school through a correspondence course. The outcome of the suit is not known. See more »
There's nothing automatic about this apartment, you want something done, you'll have to do it yourself.
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The opening credits are shown as if viewed through a ship's porthole. See more »
One change in casting could have made all the difference here
The part of the runaway heiress would have been right up Nancy Carroll's alley. Likewise, I think Virginia Bruce might have been more convincing in Ms. Carroll's part as a scheming shop girl that puts on airs. Ms. Bruce just didn't have the same air of mischief that Nancy Carroll did that could have really added a needed touch of spice to this movie.
Yes, there are similarities to "It Happened One Night" as everyone else has mentioned. There's a runaway heiress, a reporter in the know (Frederic March as Bill Spencer) that winds up falling for said heiress, even the heiress running away from the overbearing elder of the family - in this case her grandfather. However, everything else is pretty unique. In IHON Claudette Colbert's character was forced to live like an ordinary Depression era American in order to blend in with the crowd enough that she could get to her fiancée undetected by her father. Here, Joan Butterfield (Virginia Bruce) has an end goal of being one of those average Americans and standing on her own two feet.
The delight is in the details here - There's Patsy Kelly as Joan's friend, shop girl Peggy O'Brien, demonstrating a vibrating weight loss machine at work and when the electricity goes out in her small apartment, plugging into the flashing sign outside her window. Of course now it takes twice as long to cook dinner and all of her lamps are flashing on and off. Ms. Kelly is practically the third lead here, and her comic performance as Joan's mentor at living the working class life is pitch perfect. She's noisy and assertive as usual, but she doesn't go overboard. Alan Mowbrey as Peggy's boyfriend, a 40-something chiropractic student living across the hall from Peggy that works nights, is a great comic touch. The two humorously meet on the stairwell each evening for a passionate kiss, he as he heads off to work and she as she heads home from work. Not to be overlooked is Eugene Palette as Bill Spencer's perpetually agitated editor. He and March inflict every comic verbal insult possible on one another yet they just can't seem to live without one another - much like Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. In fact, I found that Palette and March had much more chemistry together than did Frederic March and Virginia Bruce.
This is one film where the scenery along the way is much more interesting than the ultimate destination as I felt the conclusion landed with a thud and seemed rather forced. Still I'd recommend it just for all the goofy stuff that you could only find in Hal Roach productions in the 30's. Ultimately it's a satisfying feel-good little film.
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