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Housewife

(1934 b 69')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A poor housewife pushes her husband toward success; he plays around with an old flame, but she gets him back.

Housewife Nan (Ann Dvorak) fixes oatmeal for her husband Bill Reynolds (George Brent), who is too busy to fix the plumbing. Nan's sister Dora Wilson (Ruth Donnelly) says, "Lincoln freed the slaves, but he didn't do much for the housewife." Bill grumbles about his boss Sam Blake (Robert Barrat) to his brother-in-law George Wilson (Hobart Cavanaugh). George and Dora tell Bill and Nan that George found a better job. Sam gives Patricia Berkeley (Bette Davis) $25,000 a year, while office manager Bill is only making $175 a month. At lunch Pat tells Nan she was in love with Bill. Bill's idea to sell $5 cold cream for $10 is rejected by Sam. Nan shows Bill their $1740 in savings, and he starts his own ad agency. Nan's phone call helps Bill get his first account by pretending he was talking with the sausage competition.

After six months the Reynolds agency still has only one account. Nan tells Bill to go after the million-dollar Duprey cosmetics account. Bill follows Paul Duprey (John Halliday) around and sells him by promising to double his profits. He tells Nan he got a 2-year contract by getting Pat for another $100 per week. The Reynolds agency becomes very busy, and Bill is too preoccupied with Pat to see customers. Nan shows Dora their new house with a butler. Their son Buddy is going to an expensive military academy, but he complains his daddy is always at the office. Dora suggests to Nan that Bill is playing around. Bill dines with Pat again. Nan asks Bill about Nan and gets jealous at the house-warming party. Paul tells Nan he now regrets being a bachelor. George fills in for busy Bill at a rehearsal, and Paul winces when he hears his radio ad. Nan invites Paul for dinner and tells him her ideas for better ads, while Bill is absorbed with Pat. Pat tells Nan that she and Bill love each other. Pat tells Bill to talk with Nan, but Nan cries and wants to stay married. Buddy runs after his father and is hit by the car. Bill changes his mind, but now Nan wants the divorce. Paul asks her to marry him, but Nan says it is too soon. In divorce court Bill and Nan change their minds, frustrating the judge. In the final scene Nan says she is a housewife, and Bill agrees.

While spoofing how advertising fools consumers, a businessman with a supportive wife is lured into an affair with a successful businesswoman until an injury to his son brings him to his senses. This housewife not only handles the domestic duties but helps her husband's career too.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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