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She Had to Say Yes

(1933 b 66')

En: 5 Ed: 6

A secretary goes out with clients and chooses one over her two-timing boss.

Sol Glass says they must drum up more business, because the buyers are tired of the gold-digging "customer girls." So Tommy Nelson (Regis Toomey) suggests they use the stenographers; but he doesn't want his secretary and girl-friend Florence (Loretta Young) doing it. Only Birdie (Suzanne Kilborn) volunteers. Haines (Hugh Herbert) tells Nelson he wants to go out with Florence; but when he fixes him up with Birdie, he signs the contract. Tommy calls Florence to tell her to go to the play without him; then he kisses Birdie. To help Tommy, Florence volunteers to go out with Daniel Drew (Lyle Talbot). She goes to his room to help him with letters and drinks champagne; but she won't let him kiss her and leaves.

Maizee (Winnee Lightner) helps Florence to see Tommy kissing Birdie, and Tommy criticizes Florence for staying out until 4:30 a.m. Drew takes Florence to lunch and says he is "that way" about her. Drunk Tommy visits Florence at 2 a.m. He wants her to stop going out with customers; he gets fresh and is locked out. Maisee says goodnight "properly" to a customer in the hallway. Florence tells her boss she won't go out with customers anymore and is fired. Drew comes to Florence's for dinner, as Maisee goes out. Drew kisses Florence and takes her out. Seeing Haines, he offers Florence $1,000 if she can get him to sign a contract. Then Drew asks her to marry him.

Florence arranges to meet Haines in a private dining room. Then Maisee sends his wife and daughter there so that Florence can get his signature on the letter. Haines tells Drew that Florence blackmailed him and that she must be working for Nelson. Drew gives Florence the $1,000 check. Tommy sees Florence and wonders how far she goes, following her and Drew. Drew takes her to a house and tells her to stop pretending she is untouched. He kisses her, and she stops resisting, asking if that is all she means to him. Florence says she loved him, but now she realizes Tommy is no worse than the rest; she walks out. Tommy arrives in a cab, and they embrace; but he finds the check and gets angry. Drew makes Tommy apologize by hitting him and then tells Florence he loves her, again asking her to marry him. Florence says yes to a "lesser evil" as Drew carries her into the house.

This film explores how businesses use women to seduce clients, often resulting in sexual harrassment for the women and disappointment for the men. The innocent Florence gains experience and decides to settle for the lesser of two evils, since all men seem to be bad.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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