Employees' Entrance (1933) Poster

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Powerful Pre-Code Retail Drama
Ron Oliver26 October 2000
12,000 workers pass through the EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE of Franklin Monroe & Co., the world's largest department store. Hounded & harried by their merciless management, they have produced a superior retail establishment. However, the cost in broken hearts & lives has been tremendous, as greed & ambition struggle for control of the entire corporation...

This is an excellent film that rewards diligent attention from the viewer. Like its predecessor, SKYSCRAPER SOULS (1932), the story takes a diverse cast of characters, puts them in a large structure, stirs in a witches' brew of human emotions, and applies intense pressure on them all from the top down. Fine production values help the believability in this pre-Production Code drama.

Warren William dominates the picture - just as he did in SKYSCRAPER SOULS (1932) in an identical role- as the store's completely amoral, conniving, tyrannical manager. He is perfect in the part and it is fascinating to watch a skilled actor portray a thoroughly bad character. As one of the finer actors of the decade, it is indeed a shame the William is all but forgotten today.

The rest of the cast is excellent: Wallace Ford & Loretta Young as a secretly married couple whom William tries to corrupt; Alice White as the store floozy, willing to drop her morals at William's command; Ruth Donnelly as William's no-nonsense secretary; Frank Reicher & Charles Sellon as two old men who respond in very different ways to having William destroy their livelihood; and Hale Hamilton as the store's ineffectual, absentee owner.

Movie mavens will recognize Allen Jenkins as an undercover store security officer and Charles Lane as a shoe salesman, both unbilled.

Although meant to be great entertainment and nothing more, this film should raise just enough questions in the viewer's mind so as to get them pondering what really goes on behind all those closed doors at their own favorite department store.
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Pulls No Punches
dougdoepke16 January 2007
Behind the pedestrian title lurks a rather savage look at survival-era capitalism as played out during that desperate depression year of 1933. Who else is better outfitted to protect the average working stiff from cut-throat competition and unemployment than a tiger shark bigger than those circling around. Department store shark Warren William is in charge of 12,000 average Joe's, and by golly he's going to keep them swimming even if he has to eat half of them in the process. Bravura performance from William-- watch his eyes slink around the hallway before he enters the hotel room to ravish a drunkenly compliant Loretta Young. His authoritative presence commands the movie as completely as he does his underlings. Film may come as a revelation to viewers unfamiliar with pre-Code Hollywood, before the censors took over in 1934. Nonetheless, it was an era of social frankness that would not emerge again until the counter-cultural 1960's, while the movie itself would play as well today as it did then, as one reviewer sagely observes.

Much of film's value lies in getting us to think about the appeal a strongman-tyrant presents during turbulent times. We loathe William's ruthless and often cruel tactics. But at the same time he's inventive, decisive, and brutally logical-- with a single-minded dedication that goes beyond personal happiness. In short, he becomes The Department Store in the same way an effective tyrant can personify The State. He's a figure to be loathed, yet grudgingly admired at the same time, while it's a credit to the film-makers that they pull off the ambivalence as well as they do. Two scenes stay with me that help define William's compelling side--watch him nearly throw up at the smarmy speech given in behalf of the store's worthless owners, plus his face-to-face denunciation of bankers as parasitically unproductive, a passage that probably brought depression-era audiences to their feet.There are also unexpected deposits of humor, such as the bald man/balloon gag that is hilariously inventive and likely a brainstorm from ace director Roy del Ruth. On the other hand, Wallace Ford simply lacks the kind of edge to make his role as William's assistant plausible. Instead, a face-off between William and, say, Cagney would have exploded the screen.

Anyhow, don't let the forgettable title or the now obscure Warren William fool you. There are so many memorable glimpses of human honesty, that the movie must be seen to be appreciated, especially by those unfamiliar with the pre-Code era. So catch up with this cynical little gem if you can.
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Power and love games backstage at a big New York department store
psteier28 May 2000
Warren William (Kurt Anderson) gets to dominate the picture as a ruthless department store manager who throws away employees, suppliers and women without pity. Alice White (Polly Dale) is also exceptional as the women he uses to seduce and control men he can't dominate otherwise.

An interesting look at a workplace in the depth of the depression. The department store sets are also interesting for showing retail design of the time.
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One of the best of the pre-code era
adverts1 January 2003
A very watchable pre-code film - not so only it's risque elements but for acting (particularly Warren William), plot, comedy and fast pace. One of my favorites of the era.

It's very interesting how Warren William - who treats women like objects, tries to break up a budding romance (by seducing and sleeping with Loretta Young, not once but twice!!), indirectly leads to a employees' suicide, etc - manages to "win" in the end. For the most part, the is the "bad guy" in the story...although he has a few redeeming characteristics.

It's worth owning the video.
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The All-Business Triangle
movingpicturegal10 September 2007
A standout performance by Warren William as Anderson, the hard, uncompromising, ruthless and feared-by-most General Manager of a giant department store helps make this a really excellent and interesting film. With climbing profits over the years, the depression has hit the store with a downfall and Anderson is put in complete charge to boost up sales - and he will go so far as to ruin any man who doesn't live up to his high expectations. He likes women, but not for marriage - his motto towards females is "love 'em and leave 'em". He soon meets beautiful Loretta Young who is desperate to get a job at the store, apparently a hard nut to crack (and she, apparently, will do whatever it takes to get it as she spends the night with him at his apartment despite her indication she would like to go home). Anyway - she's hired on as a model even after she said she would like to be hired for her "brain" - okey dokey - and soon has met and married a gung-ho salesman (Wallace Ford) who has been promoted as Anderson's new assistant. Anderson believes that a man should be married to his "job" only - so the marriage is kept a secret, and the workaholic boss expects his assistant to be there by his side pretty much night and day.

Okay, this is a really terrific pre-code film, entertaining through every scene, and featuring one of my thirties favorites, Warren William, who pretty much steals the film. As for the women, though Loretta Young is fine in her part here and looks really gorgeous - it is the scenes with adorable Alice White that are the most fun to watch as she plays Polly, a blonde who takes extra pay from Anderson to do his bidding seducing male employees for various purposes. A very enjoyable film and a treat to see.
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Excellent Depression Era Film
mrsastor4 September 2007
I have never been a fan of William Warren's, but this is the perfect role for him. I usually find him thoroughly unlikable and obnoxious; imagine my surprise when he is cast in just such a role and pulls it off so perfectly I find I must now respect his prowess as an actor. Well done, WW! In Employees' Entrance, we find Warren playing Kurt Anderson, an unapologetic cad who rules the Franklin & Munroe Store like a dictator. He is so flawless at playing someone so reprehensible, I loved hating him, I hoped he'd win. I especially loved him telling off the rich fops who run the store in the opening board room scene, "Do you think YOU did it?!" he demands in reference to the store's unprecedented success. I worked for a man like that once, I was crazy about him. No one ever got more work out of me. And the viewer actually doesn't feel too terribly sympathetic to the people Anderson fires throughout the movie, so much as they wonder why they were ever stupid enough to make such silly suggestions or resist Anderson when they had no ideas of their own.

As the great department store enters the great depression, things get even tougher, and Anderson must drive his staff even more ruthlessly than before; but he does this to protect their jobs. And what an eye-opening time-capsule! The Franklin & Munroe store is said to employ 12,000 people...you'd be lucky to find 12 in a department store today! Imagine a store that actually provides SERVICE.

Note the pre-code relationships between the characters: Anderson sleeps with Madeline twice and neither character seems to feel it is the end of the world as would have been required of them in films just a couple of years later. Further, Anderson literally pimps Polly out to divert the attention of a troublesome board member. She doesn't mind; not because she's easy but because she's figured out how to work the system.

Lots of faces familiar to the Depression-era movie fan. Alice White is perfect as Polly Dale, perhaps the most amusing character in the film. Loretta Young plays Madeline with more depth than was probably written into it. Ruth Donnelly is her usual self as Miss Hall, and Allen Jenkins has an unbilled but significant role as the security chief, Sweeney. Wallace Ford is surprisingly good as Martin West; the scene where he flirts across the store with Madeline by holding up sheet music with titles like "I want to call you Sweetheart" and "You're Beautiful" is adorable.

I highly recommend this entertaining film.
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Chance encouter --- slice of history
THMUR16 July 2003
I ran across this movie by chance and then ran to IMBD to learn more about it. I was amazed by how the film enlightened me on the era and actually how similar corporations and people in them still behave today.. William Warren is excellent in the role of the tyrannical boss with the hots for the married sales girl (Loretta Young). I was surprised by the the openness of the film (for the time), but apparently after reading some of the other comments, this is typical of the pre-code era of films. Too bad things had to change. You can pick up a lot of social history from this kind of film despite it being a bit one dimensional.
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Hugely entertaining. Enjoyable throughout. Highly recommended.
chipe19 February 2004
This has to be one of the best B movies. Don't miss it. While it is no Citizen Kane, I found it to be a flawless 1 hour, 14 minute joy -- great satire, comedy, social and economic commentary and a fast-paced, well written, interwoven and witty screenplay . There is not a dull or wasted moment in the movie. It moves along and builds as it goes. All the loose ends are tied together and resolved in the exciting conclusion as Warren William juggles a frantic attempt to get a last minute voting proxy, a number of romances, some personnel changes and alliances and even some gunplay. Wow! And there is a huge number of situations and strategy about department store management and sales promotions. It is also an unusual movie in that it is gloriously politically INcorrect: the "bad guy" triumphs for a change. It is quite risque; a good example of a pre-code movie. Warren William gives an "over the top" bravura performance. Albert Gran and Alice White shine. Wallace Ford and Loretta Young do fine.

I see that most users gave it an 8 out of 10. I gave it a 9.
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Runs Like Clockwork
tedg8 August 2005
This is a remarkable little movie.

It has a bad guy that you actually have to like. Most of the story is spent setting him up as a conventional villain, a ruthless guy who capriciously ruins lives. A hateful, selfish man, arrogant and exploitative.

Along the way, he sleeps with a pretty employee and then when he finds she is married to his protégé he tries to ruin the pair. A man he fired kills himself, and the pretty girl (Loretta Young) tries to. In his manner, he is as brusque and offensive as he can be. He hires a floozy to compromise a fellow executive. He harangues everyone.

And yet by the end you actually like the guy and are surprised at being tricked into doing so. He fights to avoid laying off thousands of employees (because of the depression) in a fight to the death with the bankers. He proves to be honest, if misogynistic.

The two girls are incredibly sexy, as this was made just before the code slammed the shutters on women in film.

Alice White plays the floozy just before a sex scandal ruined her career a second time. She had previous been "helped" by a few directors including Chaplin. We are seeing a real fading flapper here.

Loretta Young, at 20 is as beautifully photographed as she would ever be. How odd to see the pretty girl as one who could be seduced so... twice.

But that's all by the way. The writing of this thing is so competent it rocked me back. I watch a lot of movies and usually have to let my imagination fill in for various deficiencies. Not so here. The writer of this also did the "Kennel Murder Case" of the same year, also excellent.

Excellent again. A good old straight ahead movie that fools you into thinking it is straight ahead and then it turns things a bit upside down.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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True today as ever
gsarcona27 September 2005
The ethic of working employees like pack mules, without regard for their personal lives (as if they were allowed to have them!) portrayed in the film was shocking to me. I saw the film in Silicon Valley, and it could have been portraying any of the overtime-obsessed companies around today. Its prescience was indeed, amazing. My eyes bugged open more with each turn of how outlandish can the Boss get. "A primer on sexual harassment" one comment on the film said, and it certainly was enjoyable to watch the slap & smack fest in the office. The other employees and board members round out the cast of anyone you work with today: from butt-coverers to disconnected semi-retirees who find the idea of showing up at the office an inconvenience to their day. My popcorn was untouched, because my mouth was either gasping or laughing, too quickly switching from one to the next to get a munch in edgewise.
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The workplace tyrant, unfortunately far from extinct
DeborahPainter85512 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
(Warning: slight spoilers)

A good film with realistic acting and only a little melodrama, EMPLOYEE'S ENTRANCE is worth a look. Warren William as Kurt Anderson, manager of a huge store, uses fear tactics to try to keep his employees in line. He demands loyalty while giving none. This sort of subject matter was rare after the Code went into effect, and remains rare today.

Wallace Ford as Martin West delivers a fine performance as a man who accepts an important position under Anderson in good faith, and finds that if he keeps the position he has to sacrifice all his scruples. He stops before he becomes like the bad boss, but, as so often happens in real life, his career declines as a result of defying the one in power.

I found myself sympathizing a bit with Anderson, however, and I didn't dream that I would; I mean, he's awful. He treats the women in his employ as his personal toys. He's not totally amoral because of his concern for the greater good of the employees of Monroe's Department Store. Although he doesn't mind "killing off" a few employees who disagree with him, he perceives that it's the Depression, after all. If the store goes out of business because of "weakness", thousands more will go hungry. He himself is willing to take a pay decrease to keep the store solvent. Also, he freely admits to his rotten acts. He hides almost nothing, and so is unusual.

The bad bosses I have met in the real world are completely self- serving and interested in power and prestige within the organization. They give lip service to teamwork, profits, productivity and employee success while their behavior they display a contempt for these values. Such bad bosses never admit to any wrongdoing, plot and scheme against members of their staff in closed door meetings, and use their influence as bosses to enlist their company personnel departments in their schemes to wound or destroy an employee's career if they seem to stand in their way toward getting more power and prestige.

You will, however, like the movie. If made today it would get a PG-13 rating, I would bet.
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precode about a department store tyrant
blanche-220 September 2011
In "Employees' Entrance," Warren William plays Kurt Anderson, a man who runs a department store with ruthlessness, disregarding employees and their private lives. In silent films, this is the type of role he played. But I'm more used to the fun William from "Daytime Wife," a Perry Mason movie, and others. He had a great laugh - but you won't hear it here.

Loretta Young, 20 when she made this film, is unbelievably beautiful as Madeleine, an employee who falls for fellow employee Martin (Wallace Ford). The two marry secretly. The tyrannical Anderson does everything that he can to break up what he thinks is a budding romance - he piles work on Martin and promotes him so that he has no time for women. Anderson, meanwhile, manages to seduce the lovely Madeleine twice! Anderson's tyranny isn't just against this couple - without giving it a thought, he ruins lives and companies. Yet in spite of this, there's something admirable about his innovations, and when he spots a smart, determined individual, he wastes no time promoting him.

A very non-precode ending that will make you really wish the code never existed. This film is not only interesting as a historical piece, but it's a look at the inner workings of a department store -- and a reminder that times really haven't changed that much.
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Warren William, that great voice
gzorro4022 December 2006
I saw this film recently on Turner Classics. It was a beautiful part of the wonderful past of Hollywood. Warren's great voice still haunts me. It was, as they say "mello as a cello". Real good stuff!! I have become a Warren William fan. I looked up his bio on your WEB. He made a ton of movies with all the top stars of Tinsel Town. He also made some not so good movies, but that's par for the Hollywood story. I have ordered about ten of his movie efforts and look forward with great anticipation in seeing them. Because I was not familial with him till TCM came along and presented some of his work. Sadley he died quite young at 54. Fortunattly we still have him to enjoy with the Hollwood Classics.
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Refreshing and Enjoyable
reve-222 May 2000
This movie has lots of humor, pathos, and suspense. The wonderful cast does a great job. William Warren is, at times, ruthless yet he also displays occasional compassion and a considerable amount of vulnerability. As the no nonsense top boss in a major Manhattan department store he stops at nothing in his quest to keep his store at the top. He thinks nothing of summarily terminating loyal long time store employees if they offend him in any manner. Although all of the cast is superb in their well written roles, make no mistake, this is Warren's film. It moves fast and does none of the slow dragging that many films of the early 1930s suffer from.
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Fast-paced and entertaining.
bbibsboy17 May 2000
This is one of those wonderful 1930's films where the plot, dialogue and emotions could be transplanted into the year 2000. Everything changes, yet nothing changes. We've all met arrogant and cruel bosses like Kurt Anderson, played perfectly by Warren William. Loretta Young, Wallace Ford and Alice White are just right. And what a blessing that such a hard-hitting movie was written without a single swear word.
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Pre-code fun
ctomvelu118 September 2011
Ya gotta love these pre-code flicks. Women looked and acted like real women, and men acted like the cads they often are. Warren William plays the tyrannical owner of a department store down on its luck. He hires and fires with absolute glee, and is an unrepentant womanizer. He hires a new salesgirl, played by the incredibly beautiful Loretta Young, and soon has his way with her. She falls for a fellow employee (Wallace Ford) and marries him secretly. William then turns his attention back to Young and... The film is an absolute hoot, and even includes a highly suggestive rape about-to-happen. Young is almost ethereal in her beauty, but this one's William's film all the way. His character is a cad, but in a strange way, a likable cad.
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Sharp Pre-Code Item Focusing on Ruthless Office Politics
mrb198016 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Warren William, who made a living playing unscrupulous businessmen in the Pre-Code days, excels in this film about back door goings-on at a major department store.

William stars as Kurt Anderson, the manager of a big-city store who will let nothing and no one stand between him and success. His motto is "Smash or be smashed!" and he really means it. Anderson bullies and stomps on everyone--the store's staff, the store owner, vendors, and even the Board of Directors! He shamelessly manipulates the lives of everyone he deals with, and has no qualms about driving a long-time employee to suicide.

The movie begins with Anderson demanding (and receiving) a 100% salary raise from the Board. Anderson then has a love affair with Madeline (Loretta Young), a store employee who is married to Martin (Wallace Ford). He tries to break up the marriage in a number of ways. Anderson also flirts with Polly (Alice White), the store's resident airhead. The store's Board attempts to fire Anderson, but he pulls a fast one with some proxy votes and continues as the store's absolute monarch.

William, as usual, really delivers in a very unsympathetic role. Loretta Young is great (and very lovely) as the innocent Madeline, and Alice White is very convincing. Ford could be better, but he's not bad. The venerable Charles Lane has a brief role as a shoe clerk. A visual delight for Pre-Code fans.

Best line--Anderson (to Polly): "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!"
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Warren William At His Best!
fwdixon7 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This just may be the perfect pre-code Warren William film. Warren plays a hard-nosed, hard-charging department store executive. He seduces gorgeous but broke & unemployed Loretta Young with a meal and a job. Loretta then falls for Wallace Ford, who is being groomed by Warren to be another hard-nosed executive. One thing leads to another and Loretta and Wallace wed (secretly so Warren doesn't find out). However, there's trouble in paradise and after a tiff at an employee's party, a drunken Loretta once again sleeps with Warren. In the meantime, the bankers are plotting to oust Warren, which causes him to seek the proxy votes of the vacationing fatuous store owner. In the course of his machinations, the caddish Warren has Wallace listen in secretly to a conversation twixt himself and Loretta in which she admits to cuckolding Wallace. Time is getting tight, with the board of directors meeting at 10AM. At the last minute, Warren gets the proxy votes he needs to forestall the bankers. Loretta and Wallace kiss and make up. The End.

I give this film an "A". Excellent acting and direction. The minor players (almost all familiar to pre-code film fans) are great. Warren William is in his element here, playing a cad and brutal businessman. He was never better. Loretta Young is beautiful and turns in a very good performance too, as does Wally Ford. This aired on TCM the other day and, given TCM's film rotation, is likely to show up again in the next few months. Not to be missed!!!
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A Film Which Caused the Production Code to Be Enforced
C. Carroll Adams4 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The history of Hollywood's Pre-Code talkies constantly cites 'Employees' Entrance, 'Babyface' and 'Red-Headed Woman' as films which finally convinced the major producers to unleash Will Hays and Joseph I. Breen to make use of the Production Code before special interest groups, such as the Legion of Decency, became official censors.

When considering 'Employees' Entrance' it is important to get certain facts correct: The central male lead character 'Kurt Anderson' is played by the experienced stage actor WARREN WILLIAM, who came to Hollywood in 1931, after silents were no longer being produced.

Because one of the actors playing an important character part of 'Ross' died in an auto accident on 16 December 1932, after principal photography ended, we know that co-star LORETTA YOUNG (playing 'Madeline') was not yet 20 when this film was made. She was born on 6 January 1913. She was photographed as well as in any of her films. The film was released in later January 1933.

ALICE WHITE who plays 'Poly Dale' had been a secretary in the movie business and became a major star from the end of silents to the first wave of musical talkies. One problem was she did not sing or dance as well as taller women. 'Employees' Entrance' was to be her comeback, but another scandal finished her move career as an actress. She returned to being a secretary in the studios and did very well.

IMDb does not list ALLEN JENKINS as being credited, and many reviewers say this. However, in the official posters, he is prominently credited, as would be expected because he was one of Warner Bros most popular character actors.

I completely agree, all the elements needed for a classic, such as 'Casablanca' click for 'Employees' Entrance'. The script is typical of WB, ripped from the contemporary headlines about the Depression, and then exceptionally polished. The casting was ideal. The production values were 'A' level. This film was released a few weeks before '42nd Street' so it was not the top box office hit for WB in 1933, but it made a lot of profit.

Although Pre-Code, it is only suggested that any character slept with another, with fade-outs and dissolves as later standard after The Code was enforced.

I admit to being a Warren William fan. I never cared for Loretta Young in her post 1935 films, but because at 19 she was so fresh and beautiful, I have watched a lot of films she made before 'Employees' Entrance' to see her learn to act dialog on camera. Loretta was on top of her game as 'Madeline' here.

Do yourselves a favor and watch 'Employees' Entrance' when it is shown and ask for it to be released on DVD. I bought a VHS copy and watch it often.
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Who's Minding the Store?
mark.waltz15 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Seven Days a Week, 24 Hours a Day, ruthless department store owner Warren William works himself and everybody he encounters nearly to death. Men fired by him jump out of windows. Others get a lower job, but vow to his face to destroy him. What does he do in that case? He gives them a raise! If it is anything he hates, it is sentimentality. Even after 30 years of service from the suicidal employee, fired for having outlived his usefulness, William only sends a wreath to his wake simply as a gesture that he does have some blood in that cold stone of a heart.

Not until J.R. Ewing came along 45 years later on TV's "Dallas" was there such a ruthless and calculating businessman as "Employee Entrance's" Warren William. He openly enjoys being amoral, having the store tramp (Alice White) seduce an old codger on the board, sets his sites on the wife (Loretta Young) of the man (Wallace Ford) he's mentoring to take on his own traits, and admonishes his dedicated secretary (Ruth Donnelly) for buying a dress from a small shop going out of business. The more people stand up to him, the better he likes it, knowing those are the people because of the ruthlessness he can squeeze out of him will help increase his business.

The dashing Mr. William is the whole show here, ripping apart everyone around him with gnashed teeth foaming and nostrils baring. He realizes that when his own usefulness is done, he too may head for that 9th story window. Young and Ford get a few chances to have an important scene or two, but are simply puddy in Williams' cold hands to mold as he sees fit. There are shots of wacky customers in quick scenes (One annoying customer calls a clerk "You fresh thing!" after asking her where the basement is, and being told the 11th Floor; Hoity Toity Marjorie Gateson picks an expensive piano after store detective Allen Jenkins accuses her falsely of shoplifting) and a memorable employee banquet where William makes his predatory feelings towards a drunken Young known.

Charles Sellon, as the unfortunate veteran employee, is heartbreaking, while White is a pre-code gem as the floozie who finds herself out on her keester when William's plans for leaving town with her all of a sudden change. This is what the Hays code was out to finish off in Hollywood, but fortunately, the ones made before the code came in (with the unfortunate exception of "Convention City") remain. The use of "Million Dollar Baby" ("In a Five and Ten cent Store") in the background is a brilliant touch.
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Snappy and Cynical
Dr. Ed15 June 2000
A great pre-Code comedy with Warren William at his best. He plays a ruthless store manager who manipulates everyone around him, including lovely Loretta Young and her hapless (secret) husband, Wallace Ford. This film never lets up as the manager grinds away at his employees. Definitely a product of its time, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. Also good are Alice White, Ruth Donnelly and Albert Gran.
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All hail the pre-code king
MissSimonetta27 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Employees' Entrance (1933) is a film with manifold virtues, but the greatest of all of them is Warren William as the villainous Kurt Anderson. For this cinephile, old Kurt ranks up there with Darth Vader and the Wicked Witch of the West as one of the greatest bad guys in American film.

William's villain is truly nuanced. He's a heartless, lecherous monster, yet there is also something admirable about his respect for those willing to stand up to him. The scene where one of Kurt's embittered employees tells him he plans to claw his way to the top of the business world and take vengeance on him ends with Kurt impressed and ready to fund the fellow's future business!

Loretta Young gives the other standout performance as the working girl Kurt continually takes advantage of and whose marriage he unwittingly sabotages. Young makes her pain and distress all too poignant.

This is an amazing film all around. The cinematography is solid and the screenplay sizzles. One can imagine how closely the Depression-era audience must have related to its working-class heroes.
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Sleazy fun--sort of like a sequel to SKYSCRAPER SOULS
MartinHafer10 September 2007
If you are looking for a subtle film about the corporate world, then this is NOT the film for you! Instead, Warren William plays an over-the-top caricature of a businessman that is highly reminiscent of Hitler--and as a result is highly reminiscent of some of Williams' other films, SKYSCRAPER SOULS and THE MATCH KING! Despite this all being a bit silly and hard to believe, in an odd way, the film is still very entertaining and is sleazy fun. I especially like how again and again, the writers chose NOT to take the subtle path but chose to make the story a trashy soap opera. For example, when William forces yet another employee off the job after years of service, one jumps to his death from the 9th floor. Later, when he gets in an argument with a floozy in his employ, she tosses her Pomeranian at him--at which point he stares at it and then tosses the poor pooch into the trash can! With such silly scenes abounding, it's obvious that the film makers did NOT take themselves too seriously and Williams' character is so awful, you probably will laugh at some of his hysterics.

By the way, after seeing this film, didn't you also get strong gay vibes from Williams' character? He did everything he could to separate his #2 man from his wife because he wanted him all to himself! Considering this is a so-called "Pre-Code" film, I seriously think they intended many in the audience to pick up on this undercurrent.
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Cad of Cads
misctidsandbits30 December 2012
This movie has to have at least the distinctive of one of the most ruthless characters ever portrayed, positioned in the mainstream. I think he tops the Grinch. But, aside from that -- there's not much else. The characters seem to play around him and however you liked their reactions determined how much else you got out of it. Ms. Young is quite a young chic here. The boyfriend was unbelievable for her level of beauty movie-wise, but actual life plays out that way sometimes. He certainly provided the real deal support when it got down to it. Some of the acting and scenarios reminded me of why I liked the movies better as they came more of age.
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Don't you know there's a Depression on?
bkoganbing22 April 2018
Employees' Entrance is a drama about keeping a business afloat during the Great Depression. The business is a large department store called Monroe's and the owner Hale Hamilton is said to be a descendant of both James Monroe and Benjamin Franklin. But while this worthless heir enjoys his yacht, Warren William is doing whatever it takes and doing it ruthlessly to keep the store afloat.

There won't be too many people in mourning when William shuffles off the mortal coil. But that's all right by him. Every fiber of his being is devoted to his job. He's quite the user of people and one of them he spots a possible protege, Wallace Ford. He likes single men with no families working for him. But William doesn't know that Ford is secretly married to a young model William has hired, Loretta Young. That's going to present problems.

A lot of similar theme are present here as in Billy Wilder's classic The Apartment. No romantic angle like in The Apartment for William however, he's 100% business. However Young and Ford reach the same conclusions that Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine do in The Apartment.

A few familiar faces from Warner Brothers stock company are present like Ruth Donnelly and Allen Jenkins. Stealing every scene she's in is man trap Alice White. William has her on special assignment.

Employees' Entrance holds up well though this is a film firmly set in the time of The Great Depression.
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