Dir: Dorothy Arzner | US Drama 63’
Interesting to compare this rather demure affair with the one pictured nearly a hundred years later in HOW TO HAVE SEX (2023).
Far from being a manual advising young ladies how to succeed with the opposite sex as the title suggests, this early directorial outing for Dorothy Arzner – the only woman director during Hollywood’s Golden Age – whose assignment to the project led Clara Bow to take umbrage as her presence on the set meant one less man around – subscribed to the then prevalent twenties convention of a racy title but a plot of ultimately high propriety, ending (SLIGHT SPOILER COMING:) as it does with the two young leads retiring to separate rooms rather than spending the night together.
Typically for a film by Ms Arzner the men are all gormless and pliable, while the observation that “My uncle’s eighty, and he’s still a public menace to private secretaries” shows that she had their measure a full ninety years before the Harvey Weinstein scandal lifted the lid on workplace sexual harassment. @RichardChatten
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