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Personal Maid's Secret

(1935 b 58')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A maid helps the family of an insurance salesman by entertaining the upper class, but she has a secret from her past.

Lizzie (Ruth Donnelly) and Owen (Arthur Treacher) serve the Park Avenue Bentley's bicarbonate for breakfast; but Lizzie has not been paid and leaves. At an agency she persuades Joan Smith (Margaret Lindsay) to hire her as a cook and housekeeper for $70. Jimmy Smith (Warren Hull) tells Joan he won't pay that. Joan tells Lizzie their best silver is in storage but goes out and buys what Lizzie says they need to entertain. Joan suggests that Jimmy invite insurance clients for dinner. Owen takes out Lizzie on her day off, and they see Bentley with another woman. Bentley pays Owen's check so that Owen won't talk.

After dinner Wilton Palmer (Henry O'Neill) asks Jimmy for insurance and buys $100,000 policy. Lizzie tells Joan they could get an apartment on the east side. Jimmy says no, but they move there. Owen looks it over. Lizzie sees Diana Abercrombie (Anita Louise) return from Europe. At a Wilton Palmer party Joan's brother Kent (Frank Albertson) meets Diana, who wants to go to another party with Warren Sherrill (William Elliott); but he likes talking with Joan. So Diana asks Kent to go with her. Kent tells Lizzie and Jimmy that he is in love. Joan has a hangover, but Lizzie helps her. Lizzie suggests they give a cocktail party. Diana arrives with Warren. Kent greets her and asks Lizzie to sew her dress.

Lizzie suggests the Smiths rent the Bentley house for the summer. Kent and Diana play tennis, but she tells him not to get serious. Lizzie presses Diana's dress and finds her photo of Warren. Lizzie does not approve, because Warren is married. Very late Warren pours Diana a drink and invites her to his beach cottage. Lizzie comes in and warns Diana, saying she is her mother; but her husband died in the war. They quarrel, and Lizzie slaps Diana. Lizzie tells the Abercrombies and says that Diana is spoiled. Lizzie apologizes to Diana. Kent tells Lizzie that Diana does not love him. Owen tells Lizzie that he resigned, and she gets him hired by Jimmy as butler. Owen asks Lizzie to marry. Diana comes to tell Lizzie that she wants her foster parents to know Lizzie is her mother; but Lizzie tells her not to do that, because she is marrying Owen. Lizzie has Diana go in the front door to see Kent. In the final scene Jimmy, Joan, Kent, and Diana toast Lizzie and Owen.

This story suggests that a good maid can greatly aid the social and financial status of her employers, but in this era it is probably just a pleasant fantasy.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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