Female (1933)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


Female (1933) Poster

Alison Drake, the tough-minded executive of an automobile factory, succeeds in the man's world of business until she meets an independent design engineer.

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6.8/10
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  • Ruth Chatterton and Phillip Reed in Female (1933)
  • Female (1933)
  • George Brent and Ruth Chatterton in Female (1933)
  • Ruth Chatterton in Female (1933)
  • Ruth Chatterton and Lois Wilson in Female (1933)
  • Ruth Chatterton in Female (1933)

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6 December 2016 | jacobs-greenwood
6
| Ruth Chatterton plays a man-eater, a stereotypical male executive role
A pre-code drama that turns the male stereotype around by having Ruth Chatterton play an executive that's all business by day, but a man-eater by night. As Alison Drake, the head of an automobile manufacturing company that was started by her now deceased father, the actress plays a confident decisive woman that surrounds herself with good looking male secretaries and assistants that she can invite to her home after business hours for sexual liaisons. If any of the men get too chummy, she has them fired or transferred by her only older assistant, a trustworthy father-figure type (Ferdinand Gottschalk) named Pettigrew.

But Alison tires of the routine, realizing that everyone wants something from her, and she doubts the authenticity of the compliments (and a marriage proposal from Douglas Dumbrille, not looking very suave in a bathing suit) she constantly receives. Desiring to be 'just a woman', Alison escapes to a common part of town where she sees and pursues a man (George Brent) that she meets at a shooting gallery. They dance, have hamburgers and a good time together but, at the end of the evening, he declines Alison's offer to take her home, claiming he has a strict rule about pick-ups.

Of course, the man turns out to be Jim Thorne, an engineer that her company just hired to design a car with an automatic transmission. However, Alison learns that her regular routine doesn't work with Jim; the vodka her butler serves doesn't make him amorous and he spurns her advances.

Predictably, this causes her to revert to being a more typical female, one who's willing to chuck everything just to win him.

Originally directed by William Dieterle and then William Wellman, the only screen credit was given to Michael Curtiz, who was brought in to reshoot the scenes with Johnny Mack Brown (per some comments Robert Osborne made when the film aired on TCM), who plays one of Chatterton's pawns. Donald Henderson Clark wrote the story that was adapted by Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola.

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