Time: 75 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
SYNOPSIS: An uncompromising department store manager uses his power to terrorize and/or seduce his employees into doing what he wants. His methods take a toll on a young couple who must keep their marriage a secret or lose their much-needed jobs.
BOTTOM LINE: Made before the Production Code was forced on Hollywood, this picture features some fierce and shameless behavior that makes it pretty fun to watch. If produced a few years later, the characters would have been made to pay for their wrongdoings, which isn't realistic and rarely entertaining. One can hardly blame Kurt Anderson (William) for "helping" Loretta Young's character Madelaine get a job at his store. She's stunningly beautiful and clearly smart enough to know the score.
There are no hand outs, so when the dinner to seal the deal turns into breakfast, neither complains about the transaction. The fact that she's quickly forgotten works for both of them, especially since she falls in love with his right-hand man Martin (Ford). Of course, he doesn't like competition work is all Anderson knows or trusts and he expects his employees to be as devoted to the store's success as he is. His "take no prisoners" attitude gets him into hot water with the company's board whose members hate him, but love the money his tactics place in their pockets and threatens the fragile relationship between Madelaine and Martin.
Anderson's attempt to break them up, for Martin's "own good" and his sexual pleasure, is both thoroughly sleazy and highly amusing. He's exceedingly charming when he needs to be, which makes Madelaine's actions a little easier to forgive. Warren William is clearly enjoying himself and though you should hate him, there's just something about his performance that keeps his character from being completely loathsome. Young is so lovely her joys and sorrows will feel like your own. The happy ending is a bit melodramatic, but satisfying nonetheless. Great characters, who are all too human, make this worth a look.