Hired! (1940)

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A middle-aged auto sales manager is having poor results with his staff, so he gets some advice from his hanky-wearing father.

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A middle-aged auto sales manager is having poor results with his staff, so he gets some advice from his hanky-wearing father.

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Featured in Mr. B's Lost Shorts (2001) See more »

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Transporting us, like a time machine, to a happier era...
28 December 2001 | by (Lowell MA) – See all my reviews

Ah, the 1940's. Just thinking of that blessed decade brings out the Miniver Cheevy in me. Would that I could have lived in that felicitous time in our nation's history. I mean, sure, we had just come through a horrible depression, we were fighting a war on several fronts against some of the most frighteningly evil dictators in memory, and would soon be forced to confront international Communism. And yet, it was also a time of innocence, of self-confidence, of cheerful sunny optimism. All the cops were kindly and helpful, all the priests looked like Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald or Pat O'Brien, and none of the criminal element so much as said "hell" or "damn".

Nowhere can that happy epoch be relived quite the way it can in the short instructional films of that era. "Hired!" is a great example of the genre. A paunchy be-Brylcreemed fortyish sales manager at a car dealership hires a young salesman who quickly proves a disappointment. Not that the young man doesn't try; he just doesn't seem to have enough on the ball. Mr. Sales Manager, disgusted and despondent over the turn things have taken, stops by his dad's place one Friday afternoon to gripe and grouse. Crumudgeounly old Dad, handkerchief firmly set on head, sets his son straight by telling him that he must work with his salesmen to get the most out of them. It isn't enough, Dad growls, to train them and let them be. You must show them how to do their jobs, encouraging them every step of the way.

Sonny the Sales Manager is inspired by Dad's talk, and shakes things up the following Monday. In no time flat, a miracle is effected, and sales are through the roof!

And so we see that with a little mental effort and a lot of elbow grease, stick-to-it-iveness, and good old American gumption, all sorts of difficulties are overcome, and all our dreams can come true.

Thank you Jam Handy, for this slice of Americana. In tribute to you, I will keep my marmalade close by, where I can easily get it.

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