Movie Mirrors Index

Hard to Get

(1938 b 82')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Daughter of a wealthy executive falls for a struggling architect, who thinks she is a maid.

Connie Richards (Bonita Granville) tells her mother (Isabel Jeans) and her father Ben Richards (Charles Winninger) that Maggie Richards (Olivia de Havilland) isn't going on the trip. Her father decides to stay with her, and Maggie takes the butler's car. She stops for gas and meets Bill Davis (Dick Powell), who demands cash. Bill orders her to make beds and carries her. A motorcycle cop tells her it is jail or work. Bill swats her with a broom and makes her make beds and clean. Maggie frantically tells her father to have Bill fired; but he says Bill did the right thing. Maggie goes back and pays for gas. Bill and Maggie make a date in New York. He doesn't believe she is rich, and she says she is a maid. Bill takes Maggie to a hotel banquet of bird-lovers and tells her his architectural plans for auto courts. She tells him to see Ben Richards by using the name Spouter.

Richards is boxing with butler Case (Melville Cooper) and sends Bill to John Atwater (Thurston Hall), who has two men escort him out on a ledge. Bill returns and is thrown out. Bill comes in and hands Atwater a telegram but is thrown out again. Bill climbs in the window with the same result. He goes back to Richards, who asks who told him about Spouter. Richards invites Bill to dinner and tells Maggie he is coming. Maggie greets Bill as the maid and has the maid Hattie (Penny Singleton) act as Richards' daughter. On a row boat at night Bill sings "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" to Maggie, who suggests he marry Hattie for money. Bill kisses Maggie. Richards wrestles with Case. Maggie tells her father she likes Bill now.

Maggie learns that Bill and Roscoe (Allen Jenkins) were fired. Bill overhears Atwater's address and gets in with the orchestra in black face and sings in the Jolson style. With clean face Bill walks in on Atwater and Richards to tell them off. Maggie comes in and calls Richards Dad. Bill turns his anger at her and stalks out. Atwater and Richards argue over who gets Bill's plans. Richards gets Stanley Potter (Grady Sutton) to locate Bill. Richards and Case find Bill working as a riveter 44 floors up, turning down Atwater. Richards and Atwater agree to be partners and offer Bill $25,000. Maggie finds Bill working as an architect at the gas station. Richards pulls up with a judge to marry them; but Mrs. Richards arrives with Connie to protest the marriage. This stimulates Bill to change his mind and ask Maggie to marry, and they get wed.

This amusing comedy allows audiences to imagine how a young man with promise and determination can win opportunity and a wealthy bride because he really loves her for herself, not her money.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index