SPOTLIGHT: Youthful Pre-Code Young (II)

Welcome to a new Film Friday and the continuation of our spotlight series on the Pre-Code work of the beautiful Loretta Young (1913-2000), whose work we’ve never covered before here on Film Friday! Last week we started with Loose Ankles (1930). Today…

 

Employees’ Entrance (1933)

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An unscrupulous department store manager stops at nothing to get what he wants. Starring Warren William, Loretta Young, Wallace Ford, and Alice White. Screenplay by Robert Presnell, Sr. Based on a play by David Boehm. Directed by Roy del Ruth.

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“Kurt Anderson is the dictatorial general manager of the Franklin Monroe Department Store. His ruthless devotion to the philosophy of profit over people makes him hated by all, but the store does well financially. One evening after closing, he meets Madeline Walters, a beautiful young woman who wants a job. They spend the night together and he hires her as a model. She starts to date Martin West, a successsful salesman. Anderson likes Martin’s ideas for improving Depression-plagued sales and appoints him his assistant, but warns him that it is no job for a married man. Anderson is so cynical about women that he doubles the salary of another model, Polly Dale, to distract his boss, Denton Ross, who is infatuated with Polly, and keep him from interfering in the business. Despite Anderson’s warnings, Martin and Madeline secretly marry, but their relationship suffers because Martin is always at Anderson’s beck and call. After they quarrel at the employees’ dance, Martin gets drunk and Madeline spends another night with Anderson.

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“When Anderson asks her out again, she refuses and reveals that she is secretly married. Anderson is furious and tries to force Polly to break up the marriage. When she refuses, Anderson tries to fire her, but Ross is so enamoured, he blocks the attempt. As a last resort, Anderson lets Martin overhear a conversation with Madeline in which the story of their affair comes out. Madeline takes poison and Martin confronts Anderson. Anderson is about to be fired by the store’s board of directors, but is saved by some last minute proxy votes. Martin and Madeline reconcile and decide to look for new jobs away from the Monroe Department Store.” (This summary is brought to you courtesy of TCM.)

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Come back next Friday for another Young Pre-Code! And tune in on Monday for the start of a whole new week of fun on That’s Entertainment! 

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