Classic Film : Employees' Entrance

Employees' Entrance

The bland title of this 1932-33 First National Vitaphone film shouldn't stop you from watching it.

Playwright David Boehm and screenwriter Robert Presnell, Sr. are the real movie stars here. Warren William and Loretta Young just get to say the words.

This film has the most electric dialogue in a film I've ever heard. Pay close attention, because every word spoken means something. Important.

Sadly, the Warner Archives DVD does not have subtitles. You will miss a lot of the machine-gun-fast delivery of lines among a department store employees and its executives. It's 100% funny, sad, sarcastic, tragic, and outrageous.

With sound recording techniques pretty much perfected by the early '30s, Warners gave us this pre-code gritty gem. 9/10.

E pluribus unum

Re: Employees' Entrance

If you liked this, check out Warren William in Skyscraper Souls where he plays a very similar character.

But he's always fine, I collect his films and have most of them.



It ain't easy being green, or anything else, other than to be me

Re: Employees' Entrance

clore_2, I bought the "Forbidden Hollywood Archive Collection, Volume 7" containing 4 Pre-Code Classics from Warner Archives.

The first film from it that I watched was the one I had been searching for, "Skyscraper Souls". Until 2 folks from here at IMDb Classics Board told me how to find "Skyscraper", I hadn't known that it was available now on DVD.

Actor Warren William had perfected his tough-as-nails devious business man role in both Skyscraper and Employees' Entrance. Watch both films to see a very talented actor be "all business", showing no compassion - or even liking - toward his employees and his colleagues (fellow executives and especially bankers). Pitting one colleague against another was his character's forté.

E pluribus unum

Re: Employees' Entrance

Beauty and the Boss
The Mind Reader
The Match King
The Dark Horse
Under 18


are all great examples of the pre-Code William at his best. As with Mae West, the Code put a hamper on his career. Not that he wasn't fine in The Man in the Iron Mask and Strange Illusion, but the lecherous manner was tamed. His Lone Wolf films are a lot of fun, a B series with too few chapters.

It ain't easy being green, or anything else, other than to be me

Re: Employees' Entrance

Netflix does not have those 5 films available on DVDs. It looks like searching elsewhere may find them.

E pluribus unum

Re: Employees' Entrance

I liked "Employees Entrance". Warren Williams character Kurt Anderson was ruthless and rather amoral, but he was no less hard on himself than on his employees. He even expresses the opinion that he might jump out the window when he outlived his usefulness.

Once you get past his repellent character, you admire the fact that his ruthlessness saved the jobs of the employees, and you also admire the way he faced down and insulted the bankers. He also expressed admiration for anyone who demonstrated talent and stood up to him.

I wonder if Ayn Rand saw this movie and borrowed some of the character traits of Kurt Anderson for her businessmen heroes in "Atlas Shrugged"?

Re: Employees' Entrance

Your're right, Politically. Warren William's villain role almost has us feeling compassion for him by the end of the film.

He does save many others' jobs. He works himself as hard as he works others. He recognizes talent and creative marketing in lower-level employees and promotes them. He fires long-time employees he feels have gone beyond their "use-by" date. He also expresses the same feeling of terminating himself, when he is no longer useful to the enterprise.

And, he respects low-level employees who talk back to him, when he realizes that those employees are making practical real-world comments.

It's difficult to play practical and compassionate simultaneously. William was a master of doing that.

E pluribus unum

Re: Employees' Entrance

I also felt that the equally amoral Alice White character at some level, genuinely cared for Kurt Anderson and he for her. It's been a while since I've seen the movie, but I believe at the end, he decides to go away and have a fun vacation with her.

I love this movie!

It really takes you into the period it was made, and Warren William is terrific.

He was a fantastic actor, but had a tragic end.
He loved to do woodworking at home, with power tools. Perhaps this exposure to the sawdust, etc., from his favorite hobby gave him cancer.

"We will bury you"-NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV
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