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My Dear Miss Aldrich

(1937 b 74')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A young woman inherits a newspaper and becomes its first female reporter to show that she can get stories.

Nebraska schoolteacher Martha Aldrich (Maureen O'Sullivan) learns that she inherited a New York newspaper. Editor Ken Morley (Walter Pidgeon) tells Howe (J. Farrell MacDonald) that he won't have any women reporters. Ken dresses up to see a queen but is thrown out. He greets Martha and her aunt Mrs. Atherton (Edna May Oliver). At dinner with Gov. Warfield (Charles Waldron) Martha learns that there are no women on the paper, and she resents Ken's sexist views. At the office Mrs. Atherton learns the paper has no puzzles. Ken wants to know if the queen is pregnant. Martha calls her, confirms it, and gets the story. Warfield tells Martha that she now controls the paper. Mrs. Atherton and a cab driver aggravate each other. Martha asks Ken for a job as a reporter. He agrees and invites her to dinner; but she makes phone calls before he can be romantic.

Ken tells the staff that a strike could begin on Tuesday. Ellen Warfield (Rita Johnson) calls Martha to meet her at midnight. In the morning Ken wakes up Martha and complains that the wedding she attended was scooped by their competitor. Martha resigns. Mrs. Atherton tells her to buy a hat, and she sees Mrs. Sinclair (Janet Beecher). Mr. Sinclair (Paul Harvey) tells reporters he won't call Talbot about the strike, and Talbot (Walter Kingsford) announces he won't meet either. Martha delivers the hat to Mrs. Sinclair, who won't give her the story. Martha goes into the cellar and sees the Sinclairs sneak out. She follows them while Ken and Mrs. Atherton go to the Sinclairs and search for her.

At an inn Martha finds an attendant (Guinn Williams) guarding their door. Martha hides in the next room and climbs into a dumbwaiter to listen. Martha is removed, but Mrs. Sinclair keeps her from being arrested. Ken and Mrs. Atherton go to the inn with Ted. Martha's hands are tied, and she admits she is in love with Ken. A waiter is bribed by Ken. Mrs. Atherton gives her gun to Ken, and they enter the room to release Martha. The attendant comes in and knocks out Ken and Ted. They are tied up until newspapers are printed; but Martha moans, and Mrs. Atherton knocks out the attendant. An ambulance arrives and keeps everyone there because of smallpox, and Mrs. Atherton shows her symptoms. In the final scene Martha shows Ken her story; a policeman brings in Mrs. Atherton; and Ken asks Martha to marry.

This feminist comedy satirizes a newspaperman who doubts that women could do that job. Although the final plot gets a little silly, Martha is determined to get her rights; Ken is a cordial chauvinist; and Mrs. Atherton is delightfully suspicious of New York ways.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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