Save Us From Ourselves: Roy Del Ruth’s Superlative Pre-Code Social Drama Employees’ Entrance in 35mm

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $2

Wednesday, January 10 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Roy Del Ruth • 1933
The proprietor of the Franklin Monroe Department Store may be able to trace his lineage back to the Founding Fathers, but the yachted gentry are no match for Kurt Anderson (Warren William), the pitiless manager whose ruthlessly amoral tactics keep the business and its 12,000 employees afloat at the onset of the Great Depression. Once a poor farm boy from Ohio, Anderson rose to the top by adhering to his sole credo: “SMASH! — or be smashed.” Among the wreckage along the way: Loretta Young as the eager model who gets a job by sleeping with the boss, Wallace Ford as the innovative but pliable floor manager, and Alice White as an all-purpose C-suite Mata Hari. Stuffed with a roster of deftly sketched supporting players glimpsed fleetingly in the aisle or the elevator, this boiling backroom epic showcases the protean finesse of undervalued director Roy Del Ruth. Released shortly before Roosevelt’s inauguration, Employees’ Entrance is practically a Hooverism liquidation sale, chucking the dead wood of paralyzed patricians and callous bankers preaching passive retrenchment. The evergreen promise: Americans will go back to work as soon as we hand over the reins to a lecherous authoritarian. (KW)
75 min • First National Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Warner Bros.(Swank)

Preceded by: Bugs Bunny in “Hare Conditioned” (Chuck Jones, 1946) – 8 min – 16mm


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