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Professional Sweetheart

(1933 b 74')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A radio singer with a pure image wants to experience men, and so her handlers find her an Anglo-Saxon from Kentucky to marry, trying to renew her contract.

On the Ipswich wash-cloth radio show "purity girl" Glory Eden (Ginger Rogers) sings "My Imaginary Sweetheart." She demands some black lace "doodads" she saw in a window. Reporter Elmerada (ZaSu Pitts) questions Sam Ipswich (Gregory Ratoff) about Glory. Glory is told what to eat and "no make-up, no jewelry," etc. She refuses to sign a new contract that won't let her sulk, drink, swear, go to a nightclub, or be seen with a man alone. She throws a tantrum, cries, and wants a sweetheart. Press agent Speed (Frank McHugh) suggests a romance. They look for an Anglo-Saxon in the fan mail. They ask Elmerada to keep the dream man secret. Speed goes to Kentucky and brings Jim Davey (Norman Foster) to New York.

Soon the press expects them to marry. Jim recites poetry to a dead microphone. Dish-rag rival Tim Kelsey (Edgar Kennedy) tells O'Connor (Allen Jenkins) to get Glory for his show. Speed tells Glory what to say, and he asks Jim what his intentions are toward Glory. Jim asks Glory if she would be happy with him and kisses her; she tells Jim she loves him. Glory tells the press she wants a simple life. O'Connor warns Jim what will happen if she signs a contract, and Jim says she hates it.

The announcer tells the audience how to applaud, and on the air Jim and Glory are wed. Herbert has a renewal contract for Glory, but Jim spills a vase on him. Jim refuses the Kelsey contract too, but O'Connor tells him it all is a gag. O'Connor says her salary is doubled; but Glory appreciates more the lack of moral restrictions. Jim and Glory arrive at Jim's home, and he plans to sleep on the couch until she decides if she likes a simple life. She says she's had men and dances seductively; Jim spanks her.

The black maid Vera (Theresa Harris) asks Ipswich to let her sing. Ipswich argues with Kelsey, while Speed and O'Connor leave with contracts. Speed shows Glory a contract with no restrictions; but she cooks and says she loves Jim. Speed calls Ipswich to put Vera on the radio. Glory tells O'Connor no and listens on the radio to Vera as the new Ipswich girl. Jim gets turned on; but Glory calls it disgusting and signs the Kelsey contract. Speed comes back and gets Jim to sign with Ipswich. Finally Jim and Glory agree to perform together for the Ipswich-Kelsey hour.

This story satirizes the purity expected by fans and promoters as contrasted with the free morality desired by entertainers. Typically, the uninhibited singing of a black woman is rejected as immoral.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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