7.0/10
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4 user 2 critic

Office Blues (1930)

An amorous secretary ignores her importunate co-worker and daydreams (in song) about her boss when she should be working on letters.

Director:

Mort Blumenstock
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ginger Rogers ... Miss Gravis
Clairborne Bryson Clairborne Bryson ... Mr. Jimmy Ross
E.R. Rogers E.R. Rogers ... Gregory
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Storyline

Ginger Rogers plays a secretary who is in love with her boss but he ignores her and she ignores another suitor. Eventually, the boss reveals that he loves her. Written by Jack McKillop <jem3@donuts0.bellcore.com>

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Plot Keywords:

secretary | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1930 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

We Can't Get Along
(uncredited)
Music by Vernon Duke
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Ginger Rogers
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User Reviews

 
Ginger Rogers makes like Betty Boop
6 February 2010 | by wmorrow59See all my reviews

This cute musical short gives us a look at 19 year-old Ginger Rogers at the dawn of her film career, back when she was still a flapper. Even Ginger's fans may not recognize her in this role, at first: her hair is short and dark with spit-curls, and she speaks and sings in a little girly voice like someone doing a Helen Kane impersonation. (Soon the Flesicher Studio would immortalize the style with their cartoon creation Betty Boop. Even people who've never heard of Helen Kane know Betty Boop when they see her.) Miss Rogers is the center of attention here. Her songs are amusing and catchy, and the short lasts just long enough to serve as a pleasant lead-in to a feature film.

Ginger plays a secretary who works in a stylish Art Deco office where she's expected to type up business letters, but she's too busy pining for her handsome young boss. There's a co-worker who is interested in her, an earnest fellow with a receding hairline, but Ginger won't give him the time of day; it's the boss -- who has a lush, healthy head of hair! -- that she wants. Sitting at her desk she launches into a humorous lament about how her every attempt to get the boss into a romantic mood is rebuffed. The song is full of funny couplets such as: "I start squeezin' up, he starts freezin' up/I hate to urge a man, he's like a clergyman . . . What has he gotten me? Only monotony." Etc., etc. Even at 19, Ginger really had a way with a witty lyric.

Before long, the secretary's day-dreaming turns into a full-scale musical number, or as full-scale as this modest short ever gets, anyway. Ginger sings a second song in which she boldly declares her love for her employer, now backed by a battalion of secretaries dancing on an enormous writing pad. Only in the movies! The choreography is ragged, but that just adds to the fun. The lyrics are full of wordplay mixing business with pleasure, such as a quip about a honeymoon "merger" that certainly would have been censored after the Production Code kicked in a few years later. It all builds to a happy resolution for the secretary and her boss, and a good fade-out gag.

This short is a nice little treat. I was fortunate enough to see it with an audience once, and the first song in particular was greeted with gusts of laughter. Office Blues is a charming novelty that offers Ginger Rogers fans an early sample of her gift for musical comedy.


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