Secrets of a Model (1940)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Secrets of a Model was an "exploitation" picture, designed for theatre-by-theatre distribution and a quick financial turnover. Sharon Lee heads the cast as Rita Wilson, a country girl who comes to the big city in hopes of becoming a model. To make ends meet, she takes a job at a carhop, providing the opportunity for a brief but tantalizing sequence in which Rita and her coworkers strip to their undies before donning their uniforms. While on duty, Rita is ardently wooed by handsome milkman Bob Grey (Julien Madison) and by shifty-looking Jack Thorndyke (Harold Daniels), whom the audience pegs as a villain because he wears a mustache. Jack promises to find a modelling job for Rita, but this is merely a come-on to trap her in his boudoir. In the nick of time, Bob breaks down the bedroom door, trounces Thorndike and rescues Rita from a fate worse than death (though the scene is nebulously directed, suggesting that perhaps Rita has been deflowered by the caddish Thorndike). It's hard to tell whether the producers were taking this thing seriously or not: in its own way, Secrets of a Model is as ineptly hilarious as that granddaddy of exploitationers, Reefer Madness. Incidentally, leading lady Sharon Lee later changed her name to Cheryl Walker, and under this monicker was one of the leading players of the 1943 morale-booster Star Door Canteen.

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Keywords

artist, city-life, modeling, romance, roommate, stars [celebrities], waiter