She Had to Say Yes (1933)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Workplace Comedy  |   Run Time - 64 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Sol Glass (Ferdinand Gottschalk) is a man with a problem -- in the depths of the Great Depression, his garment business can't hold on to its accounts. It seems that the company's models, who've always been willing to "date" the visiting buyers looking for a night out, are too hard-boiled and mercenary for the taste of most of these men, and he's losing business -- and maybe his whole business -- because of it. Then his ace salesman, Tommy Nelson (Regis Toomey), has a brainstorm -- let them take out the girls in the company's stenographic pool; after all, as he reasons it out, they're nice girls and it will do them good to get out to a show and a good restaurant once in a while, and the buyers won't be hit up for cash or encouraged to give them expensive gifts. It will all be nice and innocent, or so he thinks, and the girls will get a bonus for their after-hours work -- although as one of the stenographers remarks, cautioning the others, "You may get a lot more than a bonus from a buyer." And that all works out until Tommy's own secretary/fiancee, Florence Denny (Loretta Young), becomes the object of interest for rakish businessman Danny Drew (Lyle Talbot). Tommy's jealousy kicks in and Flo is unfairly accused of being unfaithful. But her much more knowing, cynical friend Maizie (Winnie Lightner), who's been around the block a few times, shows her the truth -- that Tommy is no better or more faithful than the worst of the men who come into the office, and should be the last one to be making accusations. Now it's Flo's turn to be outraged, especially as he won't admit what he actually was doing. Soon their engagement is over and Flo is out of a job. Danny, trying to be a nice guy but clueless about what Flo is about, comes along with an offer that may get her lots of money but also wreck her reputation, and says something so awful about what he thinks she is, that she almost shocks the audience by agreeing to it. But she acquits herself in a way that is honorable and gets Danny what he wants in business -- a fact that has him thinking even less of her than he did before. For a time Flo is caught between Tommy and Danny, neither of whom thinks as highly of her as she deserves -- and she gets to Danny precisely how unfair he and almost every other man is to the women around them. The film ends in what is basically a race to see which of these two men wises up to how nice a girl she really is, and if they can wise up in time. Look for George Chandler and longtime character actor Charles Lane -- the latter in one of his rare portrayals of a character who is Jewish (his real-life background) -- in small roles, in this breezy, sometimes surprising pre-Code comedy/drama.

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Keywords

bachelorette, career, fiancee, jealousy, love, romance, secretary