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Skyscraper Souls

(1932 b 99')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Based on Faith Baldwin's novel, the owner and workers in a skyscraper seek money so that they can attract love.

In an elevator of a 100-story building Lynn Harding (Maureen O'Sullivan) slaps Tom Shepherd (Norman Foster) for getting fresh. Vinmont (Gregory Ratoff) fires Jenny LeGrande (Anita Page) twice for having girl-friends around. David Dwight (Warren William) needs $30 million to pay the loan on his building. He arranges a $100,000 trust fund for Sarah Dennett (Verree Teasdale). Slim (Wallace Ford) has a date with Myra (Helen Coburn), but she goes with her husband Bill (John Marston). Tom takes out Lynn, and the next day he apologizes. At breakfast in Dwight's apartment Sarah declines the trust fund and leaves by a private elevator before his wife Ella Dwight (Hedda Hopper) comes in. Ella wants money for her new home in Europe. Dwight sees Lynn changing into a new dress and asks her to work at night. Tom watches her work, and Lynn says she wouldn't marry a poor man. Tom forces a kiss on Lynn. She goes to Dwight's apartment party and drinks champagne with Charlie Norton (George Barbier). Dwight ends the party and asks Myra to stay but promises her a dress for leaving when he finds Lynn on his bed. Lynn has scruples, but Tom sees her in the lobby with Dwight at 3 a.m.

The next day Tom is angry. At the gym Norton offers Dwight a merger. Lynn cries on Sarah's shoulder. Sarah tells Tom to buy Seacoast Bank stock. Slim buys it too. Hamilton asks Dwight to betray Norton to pay off his loan. Seacoast stock goes up. Vinmont buys more, and Jake Sorenson (Jean Hersholt) buys it too. Tom asks Lynn to marry and says he made $17,000. She wants him to trust her; but they soon quarrel over Dwight's gifts to her. Ella Dwight asks her husband for $100,000 and tells Sarah that Dwight never asked her for a divorce. Sarah complains to Dwight about his going out with Lynn. Dwight plans for Sarah to retire and buys her a home. Seacoast stock goes down from 350 to 89. Dwight tells Lynn that his wife won't give him a divorce. Jenny calls on Jake, who wants to marry her; but she says she's been bad. Slim with Myra takes her broach back to Jake for $50. Myra collapses and asks to go west with her husband Bill. Slim suffocated in the automatic safe.

Dwight tells Hamilton he is proud of his building but learns that Brewster died. Dwight leaves with Lynn on a trip; but Sarah tries to stop him and shoots him. Dwight wipes off the gun, says he had an accident, and dies. Sarah jumps off the building. Lynn sees Ella, who is selling the building. Tom tells Lynn that he doesn't have money; but Lynn wants to marry him.

Inspired by the recent Empire State building, this melodrama exposes how ambition and desire for money can ruin people's lives.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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