In 1969, 400 poorly paid Black women - hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina - went on strike to demand union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in ... See full summary »
Coretta Scott King
Captures in haunting, intensely lyrical images fragments of the coming to consciousness of a child girl. A series of extremely brief flashes of her moving through night-lit space or woods ... See full summary »
A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from, the owner of a gambling house, and betrays an honest girl, eventually driving ... See full summary »
A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped ... See full summary »
Edward James Olmos,
Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »
A photographer and her girlfriend are roommates. She is stuck with small-change shooting jobs and dreams of success. When her roommate decides to get married and leave, she feels hurt and has to learn how to deal with living alone.
Kurt Anderson is the tyrannical manager of a New York department store in financial straits. He thinks nothing of firing an employee of more than 20 years or of toying with the affections of every woman he meets. One such victim is Madeline, a beautiful young woman in need of a job. Anderson hires her as a salesgirl, but not before the two spend the night together. Madeline is ashamed, especially after she falls for Martin West, a rising young star at the store. Her biggest fear is that Martin finds out the truth about her "career move."Written by
Are souls for sale - behind the counters you shop over? Visit dressing rooms where desperate girls whisper their secrets of the boss...who can make or break them! ...See the bargains in love that hard times have brought! (Print ad from Los Angeles Times February 1, 1933)
This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Tuesday 27 November 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Indianapolis Friday 21 December 1956 on WFBM (Channel 6), in Spokane Sunday 10 February 1957 on KREM (Channel 2), in San Francisco Monday 18 February 1957 on KRON (Channel 4), in Shreveport LA Saturday 30 March 1957 on KTBS (Channel 3), and in Springfield MA Thursday 23 May 1957 on WWLP (Channel 22). See more »
Hale Hamilton's character Monroe is said to be a descendant of James Monroe and
Benjamin Franklin. James Monroe had no sons, just two daughters. Descendants
if any would not be named Monroe. See more »
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.
33 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this