A poor but honest and hardworking waitress from way across the tracks meets and falls in love with a college student from the upper-stuffy class, but the Mama of the intended objects to the romance. Her objections even lead her to having the waitress framed and sent to a prison work-farm for three months. Upon her release, the waitress finds instant stardom in the show business...and the social class she was lacking. Big Mama withdraws her objections.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The print shown on Turner Classic Movies, from Sony's archives, displays title credits which were modernized and re-designed in 1938 for a re-release that took place only after several minutes worth of deletions were made to meet the standards of the Production Code, which was more rigorously enforced starting in 1934. See more »
When Kitty and David are parked next to the golf course, the windshield on his car is struck with a ball, causing it to crack on Kitty's side. In the next scene where they are parked and his mother and the judge pull abreast of them, the windshield is intact. See more »
This fast-moving film features Barbara Stanwyck in her early period when she usually played a tough, lower-class dame with a hot temper who stands fast to her principles. This character is virtually identical to the ones she played in NIGHT NURSE, LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT and BABY FACE. Here she is a waitress who falls in love with a rather bland medical student (Regis Toomey) whose nasty and snobbish mother (an excellent and truly scary Clara Blandick) schemes with a corrupt judge (Oscar Apfel) to separate the young lovers by sending Stanwyck to one of those reformatories that pop up so frequently in films of this era. The ever-fluttery Zasu Pitts is on hand as Stanwyck's aunt - what a comedown from GREED.
In one scene Stanwyck, trying to memorize the dictionary as a means of self improvement, shows her suitor a list of words beginning with the letter "e" which she has written down. He reads them aloud, stops after "ejaculate," looks at her with some curiosity and says that even he would never use such a word. That moment immediately pigeonholes this film as pre-Code. The scene continues artfully with one-word exchanges all starting with the letter "e." Later, while Lucien Littlefeld is conversing about the Stanwyck-Toomey relationship with Oscar Apfel, a couple of lines are very clumsily overdubbed by other actors. Makes one wonder what was actually said. Late in the film there is an imaginative banquet scene in which the camera carefully pans the length of a dining table highlighting the place cards (each a little paper doll inscribed with a guest's name) while the corresponding but off-screen voices converse on the soundtrack; then the camera moves back to reveal the whole table and all of the people we have been listening to. The yard between the diner where Stanwyck works and the house where the owners live is well depicted: tattered laundry hanging on a line, overflowing garbage cans and kittens playing.
The screenwriter Robert Riskin contributes some snappy and witty dialogue. He worked quite frequently with Frank Capra, penning the scripts for IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, MEET JOHN DOE, LADY FOR A DAY and MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, among others. All of these films address the issue of "decency" what truly constitutes decency? Saying you are decent or actually being decent?
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