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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 <email@example.com>
Jerome Weidman's novel is the basis for the film of the same name. This film was a curiosity piece. Shown on a cable channel, it proved to be worth a look because of the general good adaptation of the book and the direction of Michael Gordon.
The movie takes a look at the "rag trade", or garment industry of New York in the fifties. We are presented with a trio of ambitious people who want to make it on their own. There's Harriet Boyd, the show room model who has had it and wants to show her talents as a designer. Harriet and Cooper, the man in charge of the production need a great salesman who knows how to sell the affordable dress line to the big department stores, so they entice Teddy Sherman to join their team.
Things go smoothly, but Harriet is a woman with a vision that would be her worst enemy. Harriet Boyd feels flattered by Mr. Noble, a man who is influential in what women of a certain status would like to buy, and decides to start an expensive line, neglecting the orders placed with the firm. All this backfires when Teddy finds out the deception and wants out. In the end, Harriet sees the light and what Noble has been trying to do with her and goes back to the partners she left behind and Teddy, who is obviously much in love with her.
The film offers glimpses of what 7th Avenue looked like in that era and what goes on behind the production of the fashions that America wore before that industry was exported overseas by the same people that created it. The "Made in USA" label was soon a thing of the past as this industry is not the shadow of what it was.
Susan Hayward's portrayal of the ambitious Harriet is what makes this movie worth seeing. George Sanders is perfect as Noble, the man who recognizes Harriet's talents and wants her to come work for him. Dan Dailey is also excellent as the salesman with a lot of flair. Sam Jaffe is Cooper, the decent man who gambles all his savings in the business he knows well.
The film will not disappoint, as it keeps the viewer interested at all times.
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