31 user 18 critic

Female (1933)

Alison Drake, the tough-minded executive of an automobile factory, succeeds in the man's world of business until she meets an independent design engineer.


Michael Curtiz, William Dieterle (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Gene Markey (screen play), Kathryn Scola (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Ruth Chatterton ... Alison Drake
George Brent ... Jim Thorne
Lois Wilson ... Harriet
Johnny Mack Brown ... Cooper
Ruth Donnelly ... Miss Frothingham
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Pettigrew
Phillip Reed ... Freddie Claybourne
Gavin Gordon ... Briggs
Kenneth Thomson ... Red
Huey White Huey White ... Puggy
Douglass Dumbrille ... George Mumford (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Spencer Charters ... Tom


Alison is owner and successful manager of an automobile factory. She also has a good relation to her employees - especially the male ones, which she is known to invite to her bed for some time and then dump quickly. Only the inventor Jim Thorne refuses her offers - will she fire or marry him? Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


she had plenty of trouble finding a man she couldn't boss. ...AND PLENTY MORE AFTER SHE FOUND HIM! (Print ad- Spokane Daily Chronicle, ((Spokane, Wash.)) 3 March 1934)


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Boß ist eine schöne Frau See more »


Box Office


$286,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The sign on a restaurant window advertises sandwiches "with beer" in large letters. The amendment ratifying the repeal of prohibition had been ratified just weeks prior to the film's release. See more »


Approx 4 minutes in: (While Alison is talking with Harrier Brown) The placement of the crane, and the puffs of dark smoke outside the window change abruptly; it is obvious that the filming was not done in a continuous take. See more »


Jim Thorne: There's just one more point, now, about these blueprints that I want to show you here.
Alison Drake: Oh, we were forgetting business so beautifully. Must you talk about automobiles?
Jim Thorne: Yes!
Alison Drake: I thought engineering was a profession, not an affliction.
See more »


References Picture Snatcher (1933) See more »


Shanghai Lil
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on a phonograph at Alison's apartment
Also played on the organ during the first swimming pool scene
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Ruth Chatterton plays a man-eater, a stereotypical male executive role
6 December 2016 | by jacobs-greenwoodSee all my reviews

A pre-code drama that turns the male stereotype around by having Ruth Chatterton play an executive that's all business by day, but a man-eater by night. As Alison Drake, the head of an automobile manufacturing company that was started by her now deceased father, the actress plays a confident decisive woman that surrounds herself with good looking male secretaries and assistants that she can invite to her home after business hours for sexual liaisons. If any of the men get too chummy, she has them fired or transferred by her only older assistant, a trustworthy father-figure type (Ferdinand Gottschalk) named Pettigrew.

But Alison tires of the routine, realizing that everyone wants something from her, and she doubts the authenticity of the compliments (and a marriage proposal from Douglas Dumbrille, not looking very suave in a bathing suit) she constantly receives. Desiring to be 'just a woman', Alison escapes to a common part of town where she sees and pursues a man (George Brent) that she meets at a shooting gallery. They dance, have hamburgers and a good time together but, at the end of the evening, he declines Alison's offer to take her home, claiming he has a strict rule about pick-ups.

Of course, the man turns out to be Jim Thorne, an engineer that her company just hired to design a car with an automatic transmission. However, Alison learns that her regular routine doesn't work with Jim; the vodka her butler serves doesn't make him amorous and he spurns her advances.

Predictably, this causes her to revert to being a more typical female, one who's willing to chuck everything just to win him.

Originally directed by William Dieterle and then William Wellman, the only screen credit was given to Michael Curtiz, who was brought in to reshoot the scenes with Johnny Mack Brown (per some comments Robert Osborne made when the film aired on TCM), who plays one of Chatterton's pawns. Donald Henderson Clark wrote the story that was adapted by Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola.

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