Ann Carver\’s Profession Film Details
Overview: After graduation from Hampden University, Bill “Lightning” Graham, a football star, and Ann Carver, who just passed her bar exam, marry. Instead of pursuing a career in law, Ann takes on …
Tagline: Pity me… I had love — and threw it away!
Review: … but wait, there’s more! Law school graduate Ann Carver (Fay Wray) marries architecture graduate and college football hero Bill Graham (Gene Raymond). Being the Depression, Bill can only get a job as a draftsman. His wife stays home as was the custom in those days, even if the couple had no kids. At a dinner party, Ann gets involved in a discussion of how to win a case, and winds up with a job offer. She climbs in her profession and loves it, Bill languishes in his, and hates it. The Grahams get posher digs, they have servants, all on Ann’s money. When Bill can’t pay the household servants when Ann is away on business, he quits his drafting job and gets a job singing at a club, using his football celebrity as collateral because it means much more money. Unfortunately the other singer who got him this job is played by Claire Dodd. It’s always a bad omen to pal around with Claire Dodd in a precode. The Graham marriage breaks apart, and Bill takes to drinking heavily, sometimes with and sometimes without Dodd, whose advances he rebuffs. Then Dodd’s character dies and Bill gets accused of her murder. And in a preposterous development Ann defends him at trial by claiming – truly – that nobody can find a motive for Bill murdering the woman, and -ridiculously – besides it was all her (Ann’s) fault because she wanted a career. How dare her! How will this turn out, watch and find out. What makes this very paint by numbers plot rise a star above mediocre is the twist of how Claire Dodd’s character actually dies. Nobody ever figures it out, except the audience, who witnesses the entire thing. The 1930’s equivalent of Quincy does not come along and solve the riddle. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. Also, there is a very precode courtroom scene, where Ann makes her name. She is defending a breech of promise suit – that is where a man promises to marry a woman and then backs out. In the 30s this could mean big bucks for the woman if the man was rich, and in this case he is. The reason he backed out was that he found out the woman was black. She claimed that he always knew she was black, and that it should have been obvious when they went swimming that she was. That she never hid her race or lied to him. The opposing counsel says that anybody should be able to tell a black woman from a white one. So Ann brings in six women – three white, three black, but all of the same skin color – and demands that the opposing counsel say who is who. The judge breaks up this circus but the point is made and the woman suing the rich man loses. Now this all sounds very racist because it is, but it was cut out of versions of this film shown in the production code era that started the following year because – wait for it – the film is making it look like race is only skin deep AND that a white man could be married to a black woman and never even know it. Oh the horror! Sometimes even very formulaic old films are worth seeking out for the twenty minutes or so that they are NOT formulaic.
Duration: 71 min
Also known as: A Profissão de Ann Carver,La profession d’Ann Carver,Ann Carver’s Profession,Asholiai syzygon,Mulher é Mulher