Barbara Beaurevel lives with her aunt and cousin in New Orleans in the late 1800's. In love with Mark Lucas, a research doctor at Tulane University, her plans to marry him are thwarted. ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Even in 1947, there were "fears about reprisals from MCA" over the portrayals of Jules Stein and Lew Wasserman, and Vic says on several occasions that "Dave Lash is an honest man" when the dispute arises over the Buddy Hare contract. The other problem was Lash/Stein's ethnicity: in the novel, Vic tells Lash people will call his honesty into question because he is a Jew; Luther Davis removed all references to Lash's ethnicity and made him a kid who had been in trouble but had "gone straight" and succeeded. See more »
The shaving cream on Gable's face changes from the two-shot to the close-up and back again. See more »
Gable's a commanding presence and appears in about every scene. His ad-man character Victor Norman is none too likable, but that's the way it should be, given the shark tank he's swimming in. I found the first part rather tedious as Victor bounces around socially and professionally to no particular purpose. The second part, however, picks up noticeably as the plot thickens. Vic's a self-assured man looking to make big money in advertising, but has his own uncompromising ideas on what sells. Thus, he's either a man of principle capable of better values, or a mercenary man who will only reluctantly sell out. Which of the two wins out emerges as the plot's crux.
Of course, being Gable he has to have an active love life, and that means deciding between the gentile Kay (Kerr) or the vibrant Jean (Gardner). Frankly, Kerr's given a basically one- dimensional role that doesn't hold much interest. I can see why she was afraid Gardner would steal the picture (IMDB). The movie's satirical part emerges with Greenstreet's portrayal of the caricatured soap kingpin Evan Evans. He presides over Beautee Soap's advertising interests like a gelatinous cretin, spitting on the table, tossing hats out the window, and dumping water on hapless underlings. It's here that the film makes a jolting statement about the industry, given Evans' unchallenged authority. At the same time, a reckoning between him and Gable's Norman shapes up as inevitable. All in all, the movie stands now as something of a curiosity, with lessons about commercialism that I expect still stand, whether radio, TV, or internet streaming.
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