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HISTORY

The film's working title was Dangerous Business . The onscreen source credit reads: "From Edwin Balmer's Sensational novel Dangerous Business An Exposé of Modern Business." The following written foreword appeared before the start of the action: "Sex in business--the 'Party Girl' racket--threatens to corrupt the morals of thousands of young girls who seek to earn their living decently.
       The shameful effects of this practice would be brought home to you more forcibly if your own daughter, sister or sweetheart were involved. This may happen!
       It is our earnest hope that this film may arouse you and other public-spirited citizens to forcibly eliminate the vicious ‘Party Girl' system. The Producers"
       The print viewed listed the director as Rex Hale, a pseudonym occasionally used by Victor Halperin, who is listed as the director in some contemporary sources. In the print viewed, the name of actress Marie Prevost did not appear in the cast list, although reviews listed her just after Judith Barrie. The Var review pointed out that some of the screen credits did not agree with credits on the "slides" provided to the press. A silent version of the film had a release length of 6,750 ft. One scene of the film features actress Ellen Powell singing the song "Oh! How I Adore You!" as she plays the piano. Superimposed over the footage of Powell is a montage of her character's romance with "Jay Rountree" (Douglas Fairbanks, ... More Less

The film's working title was Dangerous Business . The onscreen source credit reads: "From Edwin Balmer's Sensational novel Dangerous Business An Exposé of Modern Business." The following written foreword appeared before the start of the action: "Sex in business--the 'Party Girl' racket--threatens to corrupt the morals of thousands of young girls who seek to earn their living decently.
       The shameful effects of this practice would be brought home to you more forcibly if your own daughter, sister or sweetheart were involved. This may happen!
       It is our earnest hope that this film may arouse you and other public-spirited citizens to forcibly eliminate the vicious ‘Party Girl' system. The Producers"
       The print viewed listed the director as Rex Hale, a pseudonym occasionally used by Victor Halperin, who is listed as the director in some contemporary sources. In the print viewed, the name of actress Marie Prevost did not appear in the cast list, although reviews listed her just after Judith Barrie. The Var review pointed out that some of the screen credits did not agree with credits on the "slides" provided to the press. A silent version of the film had a release length of 6,750 ft. One scene of the film features actress Ellen Powell singing the song "Oh! How I Adore You!" as she plays the piano. Superimposed over the footage of Powell is a montage of her character's romance with "Jay Rountree" (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
5 Jan 1930.
---
New York Times
2 Jan 1930
p. 28.
Variety
8 Jan 1930
p. 89.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
Scen and dial
Scen and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec eng
Rec eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Dangerous Business by Edwin Balmer (New York, 1927).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Farewell" and "Oh! How I Adore You," words and music by Harry Stoddard and Marcy Klauber
"Three Jolly Coachmen," traditional.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Dangerous business
Release Date:
25 January 1930
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 January 1930
Production Date:
at Metropolitan Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Victory Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 January 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1001
Physical Properties:
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Western Electric Sound System
Duration(in mins):
73
Length(in feet):
7,401
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Maude Lindsay runs the successful Lindsay Social Bureau, a front for a “party girl” service catering to businessmen who hire attractive young women to help close deals. When she offers her services to glass bottle manufacturer John Rountree, he refuses, convinced that the products he manufactures do not need to be sold through immoral means. Rountree is pleased that his sometimes wild collegiate son Jay is now engaged to marry his hardworking secretary, Ellen Powell. Unknown to the Rountrees, Ellen’s roommate and childhood friend, Diana Hoster, is one of Maude’s party girls. Shortly before Christmas, while attending a fraternity banquet, Jay and his friends decide to crash one of the parties. There he meets Leeda Cather, the daughter of a once wealthy New York family who now is a party girl. Leeda has gotten into trouble with businessman Paul Newcast, but Newcast refuses to help her. She then sets her sites on the drunken Jay and takes him to her apartment. When Jay awakens in her bedroom the next morning, a crying Leeda leads him to believe that he “ruined” her the previous night. Jay tells her that he is in love with someone else, but when her mother arrives, he is too ashamed not to back up Leeda’s story that they eloped the night before. Jay also agrees to Leeda’s suggestion that they marry for real that afternoon. The next day, when news of their elopement is announced in the newspapers, Jay tells Leeda that his moralistic father will cut off his allowance, but she is determined not to let this happen. She then calls Newcast ... +


Maude Lindsay runs the successful Lindsay Social Bureau, a front for a “party girl” service catering to businessmen who hire attractive young women to help close deals. When she offers her services to glass bottle manufacturer John Rountree, he refuses, convinced that the products he manufactures do not need to be sold through immoral means. Rountree is pleased that his sometimes wild collegiate son Jay is now engaged to marry his hardworking secretary, Ellen Powell. Unknown to the Rountrees, Ellen’s roommate and childhood friend, Diana Hoster, is one of Maude’s party girls. Shortly before Christmas, while attending a fraternity banquet, Jay and his friends decide to crash one of the parties. There he meets Leeda Cather, the daughter of a once wealthy New York family who now is a party girl. Leeda has gotten into trouble with businessman Paul Newcast, but Newcast refuses to help her. She then sets her sites on the drunken Jay and takes him to her apartment. When Jay awakens in her bedroom the next morning, a crying Leeda leads him to believe that he “ruined” her the previous night. Jay tells her that he is in love with someone else, but when her mother arrives, he is too ashamed not to back up Leeda’s story that they eloped the night before. Jay also agrees to Leeda’s suggestion that they marry for real that afternoon. The next day, when news of their elopement is announced in the newspapers, Jay tells Leeda that his moralistic father will cut off his allowance, but she is determined not to let this happen. She then calls Newcast to tell him about her marriage. Delighted to be free from any obligation, he agrees to give a big contract to Rountree, and send Leeda $5,000. After the call, Jay, who has overheard the conversation, now realizes that he has been tricked and wants to leave Leeda, but she insists that his father will be grateful for the business she has brought him. Later, at Rountree’s office, Newcast signs a contract, telling him that he was inspired by the news of Jay and Leeda’s marriage. That night, when Leeda and Jay go to Rountree’s house for Christmas Eve dinner, Jay tells him about Leeda’s deception, causing her angrily to reveal that she arranged for Newcast to sign the new contract. She also threatens to go to the newspapers and involve the Rountrees in a scandal. Meanwhile, Di tells the heartbroken Ellen everything about Leeda, then tries to convince her to come to one of Maude’s parties. Ellen refuses, but when Lew Albans, a kind associate of Rountree and friend of Di calls, she relents. Later that night, the police come to Leeda’s apartment to tell her that they are investigating the party girl racket. The head investigator tells Leeda that they are planning to raid some parties that night but will offer her a deal if she cooperates with them. Excusing herself to powder her nose, Leeda exits to the fire escape, but when the inspector finds her and reaches out to her, she loses her balance and falls several stories to the pavement. Jay arrives at the apartment building as Leeda is dying. Feeling remorseful, she apologizes and tells him that he needs to save Ellen, who is at one of the parties being raided. Jay rushes to the party and arrives just before the police. In the melee of the raid, Jay is able to find Ellen, then tells the inspector that he and Ellen, who is his father’s secretary, were not involved in the party. For confirmation, the inspector asks Maude if Ellen is one of her girls. Maude tells them that Ellen is a party girl and she has files to prove it, but her secretary, Miss Manning, is happy to tell the police that Maude had tried to make Ellen a party girl but she consistently refused. When the police leave, Jay again proposes, asking Ellen to marry him after everything is over, and she agrees. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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