Employees’ Entrance (1933)

This pre-Code gem captures the mood of the country before Franklin Delano Roosevelt swept into office to launch his New Deal. At the height of his reign as the businessman you love to hate, Warren William stars as the manager of the world’s largest department store. He fights the bankers and his own executives to keep from firing lower-level employees, but he also has a serious character flaw. He thinks sleeping with the boss should be a job requirement for his prettier female workers. Loretta Young co-stars as a young woman who gives in just to get a job, only to find William trying to thwart her romance with his second-in-command. Made before strict Production Code enforcement, EMPLOYEES’ ENTRANCE got away with having Young fall into William’s bed twice. It wasn’t just the sex that attracted audiences. Like other pre-Code films, particularly at Warner’s, this picture purported to expose the seamy side of America’s failed institutions. It provides a rare inside look at what was wrong with a country in economic collapse. This screening will include a brief presentation, “Pre-Code 101.”

Dir. Roy Del Ruth

In attendance: Bruce Goldstein