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Victor Norman is just out of the service and looking for a job in advertising. By playing hard to get, he figures that he can get a good job and a large salary. The first thing he has to do is get a war widow to endorse Beautee Soap - a client of the Kimberly Agency. He meets with Kay Dorrance and gets the endorsement and Mr. Evans, the head of Beautee Soap is temporarily happy. Victors job is now to work with Mr. Evans, a man who is a strict and demanding client. Everything should be rosy, but Victor, a bachelor, finds himself more attracted to Kay, a widow, than young single Jean Ogilvie. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The novel upon which this film is based was itself inspired by a real-life exposé in "The Saturday Evening Post". The four-part article, entitled "The Star Spangled Octopus," was a look at how the talent and promotional agency MCA had managed to monopolize most areas of popular entertainment by the mid-1940s. In the novel, the character of Dave Lash is based directly on MCA founder and president Jules C. Stein and his right-hand-man is based on Lew Wasserman. The movie version retains these elements of the book's form but is otherwise fairly sanitized. The one exception: the exterior of the fictional agency Talent Ltd. is shown once during the movie - and the building in the shot is unmistakably MCA's Beverly Hills headquarters. See more »
At the Kimberly's apartment, Kay sits at the opposite end of a couch from Mrs. Kimberly. In the next shot they are sitting side by side. See more »
Sophisticated, well-dressed, and just a little bit dull...
Clark Gable is in good form playing an advertising ace, unemployed after spending the last four years in the Army, talking his way into a top Wall Street radio and print agency and landing the company's biggest account: Beautee Soap, run by a despicable, disrespectful tyrant. Sydney Greenstreet is the spitting, bug-eyed soap czar who keeps all his yes-men clucking like frightened geese, and his scenes around the conference table very nearly go over the top (but their payoff is in the finale); Deborah Kerr is a glamorous war widow whom Gable chases; and young Ava Gardner is well-cast as a nightclub singer--and Gable's rebound girl after Kerr plays tough-to-get. It's a slick, handsome piece of refined goods, not satiric as one might expect, though not quite stuffy, either. There are leisurely laughs, a cute sequence with Gable and Gardner on the train to Hollywood, and a satisfying wrap-up. If the picture doesn't exactly deliver fireworks, it does gives us Gable nicely contemplative, blowing kisses at the girls while at the same time re-examining his place in the work force. **1/2 from ****
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