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A ruthless fashion designer steps on everyone in her way in order to reach the top of her profession. Eventually she is forced to choose between her ambition and the man she loves. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I Can Get It For You Wholesale is the story about how dress designer/model Susan Hayward, salesman Dan Dailey, and dressmaker Sam Jaffe pool their talents to form their own company to be just one more in the center of the fashion industry on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. This film came out in 1951 and over 60 years later it's one of the few things about New York City that hasn't changed.
Other than the automobiles that part of New York City also has the same look to it as well and this is a film that could be done today. Only the garment workers will change, they'll be black and Hispanic and Asian women on those sewing machines now.
Dailey and Hayward are an unlikely pair. He's in love with her, but he's a chauvinistic lunkhead. Hayward steps into a part that a decade earlier Barbara Stanwyck would have been cast in. She's a model who knows she can design and models have a short shelf life for careers. She's ambitious and thinks of her partnership as a stepping stone. Further up the food chain is department store owner George Sanders fresh off his Oscar win in All About Eve. If she can only become the exclusive designer for his stores.
The plot of the story is somewhat unreal especially when the better angels of Hayward's nature come out in the end. But soon to be blacklisted writer Abraham Polonsky is best at capturing the mood and feel of the garment industry at the time. The industry was a huge employer of women, but it was controlled by men. Something that young Edythe Marrener of Brooklyn would have grown up with before she became Susan Hayward. Girls in high school in New York City looked for employment there upon graduation and new job aspirants were coming out every year.
I Can Get It For You Wholesale is a look at New York in the middle of the last century. Real kudos should also go to Sam Jaffe who is the wise old father figure for both Dailey and Hayward and to Marvin B. Kaplan whose deadpan delivery of their office boy gave him a breakthrough role in a stage and screen career.
A must for Susan Hayward fans like me.
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