Female (1933) Directed by Michael Curtiz. Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Lois Wilson (60 min).
Alison Drake has been running her father’s automobile factory since his death, ruthlessly making business decisions and sexually harassing her male employees. Will the new hire, a dishy engineer, make her realize she ought to mend her #himtoo ways? Chatterton had been a Broadway star since 1914, and made her name in “weepies” in which women sacrifice endlessly for their men--she was Oscar nominated twice for it. A woman of a certain age (OK, 40) she sparks off her real-life, 12 years younger husband, Brent, as they duel over who will wear the trousers at Drake Motors. Is the ending a maddening cop-out, or thrillingly subversive? You decide.
Wednesday, May 22