7.2/10
1,014
28 user 19 critic

Employees' Entrance (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 11 February 1933 (USA)
A working girl is menaced by her tyrannical employer.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Robert Presnell Sr. (screen play) (as Robert Presnell), David Boehm (based on a play by)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ... Kurt Anderson
Loretta Young ... Madeline Walters
Wallace Ford ... Martin West
Alice White ... Polly Dale
Hale Hamilton ... Monroe
Albert Gran ... Denton Ross
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Hickox
Ruth Donnelly ... Miss Hall
Frank Reicher ... Garfinkle
Charles Sellon ... Higgins
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank McGlynn Sr. ... The Editor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 February 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guerra bianca See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$188,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Polly Dale: [seductively] Hello, Mr. Anderson!
Kurt Anderson: Oh, it's you. I didn't know you with all your clothes on.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1842) (uncredited)
From "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played after a wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Pulls No Punches
16 January 2007 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

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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