3 January 2003 | Alix1929
Happy Days are Here Again!
This song was popular in the depression, so it's not a big surprise that one of the characters in this movie whistles it on the way to work. By the end of this movie, "happy days ARE here again," but for most of the picture you sure wouldn't think so! Directed by the capable Archie Mayo, this movie offers a chance for viewers today to see a wonderful contrast between the have and have nots of the 1930's.
Young Margie (played by Marian Marsh) who must be "under eighteen," works to help support her family now that her father has died. The family now consists of her older sister Sophie (Anita Page), her husband Alf, and their little baby. Margie is a seamstress in a NYC shop that makes and sells fashionable gowns. Margie's nobody's dummy--she sees the beautiful models attracting rich sugar daddies and dreams of the life she could have...if only! Her poor-but-honest-and-hard-working boyfriend, Jimmy (Regis Toomey) offers her stability and respectability , which she accepts until Sophie shows her a side of married life that is undesirable. One day at work, she meets ladies man Howard Raymond (Warren William), gets the opportunity to model a beautiful fur coat for him, and he charms her. A swiss cheese sandwich, an invitation to his penthouse, and a desperate need for money lead to trouble for Margie.
This pre-Code is rich in 1930's flavor. Raymond's penthouse apartment is an Art Deco delight, while the apartment where Margie's family lives is the exact opposite. Warren William is an absolute standout as the seducer of young women, a role he played many times, but no time better than in this movie! When young Margie shows up at his penthouse, he is outside on the roof, swimming in his pool. He invites her to stay and swim with the comment, "Take off your clothes and stay awhile." I was lucky to accidentally catch this movie on TCM. It doesn't show very often, but would be certainly worth your time, if it appears in the line up again.