Because a high school girl's parents refuse to discuss sex education (called "personal hygiene" in the film) with her, she gets pregnant by her boyfriend, who conveniently dies. Her parents... See full summary »
Here is an almost indescribable film, combining elements of a classic "women's film" about a failing marriage, a classic "educational film" about the desiderata of mid 20th century American cultural mores, and a classic "Hollywood documentary" featuring behind-the-scenes glimpses of how cinematic technical crew members work their wonders. The two titles under which it was released -- "Beauty Secrets" and "Why Men leave Home" exemplify and pinpoint at least two of the genres this movie is trying to serve.
Ern Westmore plays himself, as one of the famous Westmore Brothers makeup artists, but only in subservience to an actual plot -- and a well-acted one at that -- which comes with a welcome splash of Ida Lupino-like human interest and lack of moralizing about a man and woman whose marriage is coming unglued. Imagine Ida Lupino's "The Bigamist" crossed with a risible educational film about cosmetics and you might have some idea of what this movie is about.
Whether you watch it because you like marriage dramas, get a kick out of the unconsciously funny culturally normative educational-exploitational films of the mid 20th century, or want a chance to see a master Hollywood technical wizard reveal his artistry, i think you will enjoy this film. You will also get the bonus of trying to come up with some way to describe what it's actually all about -- not an easy task, as you can see by reading my attempt to do so!
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