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Sunday, June 8, 2008


Undervalued M-G-M women’s pic (taken from a magazine serial) has few champions. Perhaps its little moral lessons annoy not because they are so much of their time, but because they still hold up. A blissfully happy super-rich couple (Clark Gable & Myrna Loy in a miserable role) find they can’t handle the assumptions of workplace impropriety when you’ve got a secretary who looks/talks/walks like Jean Harlow, no matter how efficient. And she just would call her boss, ‘Dear.’ (Has any film done better at showing the good-natured selfishness a likable boss uses to trample on the personal time & space of a favored employee?) The young & gangly James Stewart hangs around as a sop for the happy ending, but you’ll spot the pic’s real ending in a superb shot that helmer Clarence Brown sets up right after Harlow sorts things out between Gable & Loy. She slowly walks down a long office hallway one last time, alone. The shabby DVD transfer does the M-G-M sheen no favors, but as a makeweight there's a nifty ‘Crime Does Not Pay’ extra which plays like a Warner’s social-issue pic done in a zippy 20 minutes.

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