6.2/10
481
19 user 6 critic

Professional Sweetheart (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 9 June 1933 (USA)
A vice-free radio singer wants to experience the dark side of life, so a press agent convinces her sponsor to choose a "professional sweetheart" from her fans.

Director:

William A. Seiter

Writer:

Maurine Dallas Watkins (as Maurine Watkins)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ginger Rogers ... Glory Eden
Norman Foster ... Jim Davey
Zasu Pitts ... Elmerada de Leon
Frank McHugh ... Speed Dennis
Allen Jenkins ... O'Connor
Gregory Ratoff ... Samuel 'Sam' Ipswich
Franklin Pangborn ... Herbert Childress
Lucien Littlefield ... Ed - the Announcer
Edgar Kennedy ... Tim Kelsey
Frank Darien Frank Darien ... Winston Appleby
Sterling Holloway ... Stu
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Storyline

Radio singer Glory Eden is publicized as the ideal of American womanhood, in order to sell the sponsor's product Ippsie-Wippsie Washcloths. In reality, Glory would like to at least sample booze, jazz, gambling, and men. When the strain of representing "purity" brings her to rebellion, the sponsor and his nutty henchmen pick her a public-relations "sweetheart" from fan mail. But they soon find that young love is not to be trifled with. Includes spicy pre-Code episodes and satirical jabs at a variety of targets. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Careless See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working titles were "Careless" and then "The Purity Girl". See more »

Quotes

Glory Eden: I want a playboy.
Samuel Ipswich: A what?
Glory Eden: An international playboy. All the girls got 'em. I think they're cute.
See more »


Soundtracks

Daybreak
(uncredited)
Written by Hoagy Carmichael
Played instrumentally during a scene in Ginger Rogers' apartment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This one's a real gem
8 June 2007 | by mgconlan-1See all my reviews

"Professional Sweetheart" was Ginger Rogers' first film for RKO studios after she left Warner Bros., and with Allen Jenkins and Frank McHugh in the supporting cast it almost seems like a Warners film in exile. It's a marvelous movie, smart and funny, with a script by "Chicago" author Maurine Watkins that, though it isn't a crime story, takes up another of Watkins' favorite themes: media manipulation and the gap between what we're told about celebrities and what they're really like. In "The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book," Arlene Croce wrote, "Almost any Ginger Rogers role is successful to the degree that it reflects the dualism in her personality (tough-vulnerable, ingenuous-calculating) or plays on her curious aptitude for mimickry or fantasy or imposture." Croce was writing about the major roles of her post-Astaire career — "Bachelor Mother," "Tom, Dick and Harry," "The Major and the Minor" — but it applies here just as well; by casting Rogers as a wise-cracking hard-bitten orphan girl forced to pose as the "Purity Girl," and having two radio sponsors and a husband (from an arranged marriage!) all with their own ideas of what they want from her, "Professional Sweetheart" gives Rogers an early showcase for the characteristics that would have made her an enormous star even if she'd never set foot on a dance floor with Fred Astaire. I can't understand why some of the other commentators on this film have criticized Watkins' script, since it seems to me to be well constructed and vividly satirical on celebrity and its discontents in a way that rings true even today.

Another thing I liked about "Professional Sweetheart" is that it's one of the Gayest movies Hollywood ever made — so much so that I can't understand why TCM isn't showing it in their current "Screened Out" festival of Gay and Lesbian films when some other titles with much more peripheral Gay content did make their list. The supporting actors seem to be competing as to who can be the queeniest, with Franklin Pangborn (not surprisingly) winning: his looks of horror and disgust when any of the other characters suggests that he date a woman are priceless. Also pretty astonishing, even for the relatively liberal "pre-Code" era in Hollywood history, is Sterling Holloway's obviously cruising Allen Jenkins at the reporters' reception — imagine a Gay scene involving Jenkins in which he's the butch one!


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