After Office Hours (1935)

70-71, 73 or 75 mins | Drama | 22 February 1935

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Producer:

Bernard H. Hyman

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

Tom Held

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Adam Started It , Sob Sister , Copy Cats and Town Talk . HR pre-production news items indicated that M-G-M borrowed Sidney Lanfield from Twentieth Century-Fox to direct this picture, but replaced him with Robert Z. Leonard before shooting began, and that Ricardo Cortez was sought for a role. According to HR news items and production charts, actors Tom Mahoney, Frank Mayo and Pat Flaherty worked on this film, but their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed.
       The file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library contains a series of letters sent from the PCA to M-G-M in late Oct 1934 to protest the script's inclusion of a "nance" character. A PCA official suggested that M-G-M drop the apparently homosexual character and replace him with a "skinny, studious comic clerk type." The PCA also initially objected to the story on the grounds that it concerned "phoney people and phoney actions, with hardly a redeeming feature in any of the characters." Following the release of the film, the PCA received a letter of complaint from the president of the Supreme Lodge Headquarters, an organization representing the interests of Greek Americans, in which M-G-M was accused of portraying Greeks in an "insulting" way. The scene in question was a lunchroom scene where Stephens angrily throws money on the table and says, "Here you are, ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Adam Started It , Sob Sister , Copy Cats and Town Talk . HR pre-production news items indicated that M-G-M borrowed Sidney Lanfield from Twentieth Century-Fox to direct this picture, but replaced him with Robert Z. Leonard before shooting began, and that Ricardo Cortez was sought for a role. According to HR news items and production charts, actors Tom Mahoney, Frank Mayo and Pat Flaherty worked on this film, but their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed.
       The file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library contains a series of letters sent from the PCA to M-G-M in late Oct 1934 to protest the script's inclusion of a "nance" character. A PCA official suggested that M-G-M drop the apparently homosexual character and replace him with a "skinny, studious comic clerk type." The PCA also initially objected to the story on the grounds that it concerned "phoney people and phoney actions, with hardly a redeeming feature in any of the characters." Following the release of the film, the PCA received a letter of complaint from the president of the Supreme Lodge Headquarters, an organization representing the interests of Greek Americans, in which M-G-M was accused of portraying Greeks in an "insulting" way. The scene in question was a lunchroom scene where Stephens angrily throws money on the table and says, "Here you are, Greek." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Jan 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Feb 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 34
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 34
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 34
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
31 Jan 35
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Dec 34
p. 49.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Feb 35
p. 46.
New York Times
9 Mar 35
p. 19.
Variety
13 Mar 35
p. 19.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Copy Cats
Sob Sister
Town Talk
Adam Started It
Release Date:
22 February 1935
Production Date:
14 November--18 December 1934
and 9 January--14 January 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
22 February 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5349
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71, 73 or 75
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
593
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Wealthy socialite Sharon Norwood lands a job at her uncle's newspaper, the News Record , but is soon fired by managing editor Jim Branch for writing a music review with which he disagrees. Jim, who believes that any good story, whether it be "found, bought or stolen," ought to be published, takes interest in the sensational Patterson divorce case and believes that the conniving Tommy Bannister, Julia Patterson's secret lover, has bribed the jury. Lacking sufficient evidence to prove his claim, Jim can only speculate about Bannister's guilt, but decides that he can get his evidence through Sharon, who is a close friend of Bannister. While waiting at the Norwood residence for Sharon to return from her dinner with Bannister, the charming Jim chats with Mrs. Norwood, whom he affectionately and half-jokingly calls his mother-in-law. After rehiring her, Jim casually proposes marriage to the lovely Sharon, but she rejects the offer. One evening, Jim takes Sharon to the new River Club, where they happen upon Bannister, Julia Patterson, her husband and their entourage. Sharon soon becomes aware of Jim's ulterior motives and leaves the club with Bannister, refusing to play any part in the investigation. Bannister takes Sharon to his boathouse across the sound from the Pattersons' house, only to be intruded upon by Julia, who is jealous of Sharon. When the angered Julia threatens to reveal the truth about how he bribed his jury, Bannister strikes her, and she collapses. Sharon, oblivious to the confrontation because she has been listening to the phonograph, does not suspect that anything is wrong. The next day, Julia is found murdered in her bedroom and ... +


Wealthy socialite Sharon Norwood lands a job at her uncle's newspaper, the News Record , but is soon fired by managing editor Jim Branch for writing a music review with which he disagrees. Jim, who believes that any good story, whether it be "found, bought or stolen," ought to be published, takes interest in the sensational Patterson divorce case and believes that the conniving Tommy Bannister, Julia Patterson's secret lover, has bribed the jury. Lacking sufficient evidence to prove his claim, Jim can only speculate about Bannister's guilt, but decides that he can get his evidence through Sharon, who is a close friend of Bannister. While waiting at the Norwood residence for Sharon to return from her dinner with Bannister, the charming Jim chats with Mrs. Norwood, whom he affectionately and half-jokingly calls his mother-in-law. After rehiring her, Jim casually proposes marriage to the lovely Sharon, but she rejects the offer. One evening, Jim takes Sharon to the new River Club, where they happen upon Bannister, Julia Patterson, her husband and their entourage. Sharon soon becomes aware of Jim's ulterior motives and leaves the club with Bannister, refusing to play any part in the investigation. Bannister takes Sharon to his boathouse across the sound from the Pattersons' house, only to be intruded upon by Julia, who is jealous of Sharon. When the angered Julia threatens to reveal the truth about how he bribed his jury, Bannister strikes her, and she collapses. Sharon, oblivious to the confrontation because she has been listening to the phonograph, does not suspect that anything is wrong. The next day, Julia is found murdered in her bedroom and her husband becomes the prime suspect because he admits he had a quarrel with her and remembers nothing more of the drunken evening. Also, Julia's smashed wristwatch establishes the time of the murder at 11:20, the same time that Sharon phoned Jim from the boathouse with Bannister in her presence. Thus Bannister is provided with an alibi. Jim, however, is not convinced of the man's innocence, and soon finds evidence that Julia's watch was crushed with the leg of a night table, and deduces that Bannister altered the time before smashing the watch. When Jim publicizes his accusations, Sharon comes to the defense of her friend by having her uncle fire the renegade editor. Out of a job and feeling remorseful, Jim apologizes to Sharon, who is vacationing at her beach resort, and promises to apologize to Bannister as well. Sharon takes him up on his offer and drives him to her friend's place, but once there, Jim reverts to his old sleuthing, prompting Bannister to challenge him to a fistfight. After Jim is knocked out and forced to walk home, he and Hank Parr, his photographer friend, search the boathouse for clues. They soon conclude that Julia's screams could not have been heard over the sound of the phonograph, and that Bannister had enough time to row the body across the sound and return before daybreak. When Sharon and Bannister row up to the boathouse and find the two men there, Jim tries to bluff Bannister by telling him that Julia's vanity case was lost at the scene of the crime and probably is located in the water below his dock. Having been warned that the police are on their way to investigate, Bannister panics and, once Jim and Parr are out of sight, dives into the water to retrieve the piece of supposed evidence. Sharon witnesses the dive and becomes convinced of his guilt. Jim and Parr return to the boathouse, and while they keep Bannister down with punches, Sharon calls the police. The next morning, Sharon's mother reads about Bannister's arrest in the newspaper and is shocked when she discovers that Jim has spent the night in Sharon's room. However, Mrs. Norwood quickly regains her composure when she learns that Jim plans to marry her daughter. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.