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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Behind Office Doors (1931)

A young secretary (Mary Astor) is in love with a rough around the edges salesman (Robert Ames) at the paper company she works for. She grooms him for success by changing the way he dresses, speaks and gives him advice on business deals. But as he rises to the top, he still sees her only as a secretary. Enter a wealthy married man (Ricardo Cortez) who would like nothing better than to have the secretary as his mistress. Based on the novel PRIVATE SECRETARY by Alan Brener Schultz, this pre-code film isn't as daring as some of its pre-code brethren. At heart, it's your basic unappreciated woman behind the man scenario and the inevitable conclusion is far from a mystery. What is a mystery is what Astor sees in Ames. He doesn't treat her well, can barely remember her name and lets her do most of the work while he takes the credit. The dialogue by Carey Wilson is fast and tart if amusingly dated ("Pipe it down, you flaming youth! This ain't no speakeasy!"). Astor is attractive and appealing and the reason to check this out. Directed by Melville Brown. With Kitty Kelly and Catherine Dale Owen. 

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