Monday, 31 March 2014

Hat Check Girl

It is official, after months of searching and following leads by Molly (over at the Trade Corner for Ginger Rogers) not only has 'Hat Check Girl' been discovered, but after an awful lot of persuasion etc has been restored for cinema. For those in the Vicinity of the United States it is being shown at the TCM film festival on April 12th, so very envious of anyone who gets to go!

After a wonderful tip off from a Facebook friend i won via auction a copy of a press book for Hat Check Girl, i don't currently have a working scanner but here's a few bits from it :-)

Synopsis from the Press book for Hat Check Girl (1932)
'Checking hats in a night club may not be very elevating, but at least it's a job, in the opinion of Gerry march (Sally Eilers) and her chum Jessie King (Ginger Rogers). Jessie adds to her income by selling liquor on the side. But Gerry, with a widowed mother and a lazy brother to support, fears to take the risk even in the face of a request by her boss, Tony Carlucci (Dewey Robinson), who owns the hat check concession in most of the city's resorts and who promises her protection.

Gerry attends a gay party given by the rich Phil Cornwall (Arthur Pierson), and is escorted there by Tod Reese (Monroe Owsley) a suave publisher who makes his living running a blackmailing scandal magazine and who has had an "affair" with Gerry in the past. The party ends so late that Gerry has no time to return to Brooklyn, and Cornwall offers the use of an apartment upstairs, owned by his friend, Buster Collins (ben Lyon), who is out of town.

The next afternoon she is awakened by the unexpected arrival of Buster, who is delighted to find her there. She eludes him, and goes back to her job, to which he later trails her. Carlucci, determined to teach her a lesson, has a fake prohibition agent "arrest" her for selling liquor, but pretends to use his influence to release her on her tearful consent to sell for him thereafter, and Buster takes her home.
The friendship between Gerry and Buster ripens quickly. he proposes to her during an afternoon visit to the mountains, but she demurs, knowing her past is against her. Collins, Sr., is finally persuaded to agree to his son's marriage, and gives them a big New Year's Party for them on the eve of the wedding. Reece attends, and tells the father of his earlier relations with Gerry. Collins, shocked, in turn gives his son an inkling of the truth, and later Buster and Reece are alone in a room together during a game of "Murder."

When the guests enter to bring out the "victim," they find that Reece has actually been killed, and the police hold Buster for the crime. Gerry's efforts to obtain his release make Collins, Sr., think she is merely after publicity, and she is forced out of the case. When it is later discovered, however, that Reece was killed by a gambler, Dan McCoy (Noel Madison), with whom he had dealings in the past, Buster is freed and returns to Gerry - for good."

not a synopsis i'd read before! It did say not for publication so possibly why, hopefully that's long expired ;)
it does however in my eyes go a little way to explaining why the Hays Office weren't so happy (even though the film was released anyway) and possibly why the Hays Office then refused to rerelease it in 1937

There is also a little note in the Advance Newspaper Material telling the reader that

'Ginger Rogers, the versatile little comedienne whose mirth-making talents have brought her to the fore-front of the film world, supplies most of the hilarity in "Hat Check Girl'