Front Page Womani is a delightfully edible piece considering what it's about (women's rights, to agency and a place in the workforce, mostly).
So, Bette Davis is this gal that wants to be respected as a human being. That's it and that's all, she opened her eyes on the great blue marble one day, it seems to her she functions as well as could ever be claimed, why can't she be a person, just like you and me ?
She happens to love a guy, as it happens to happen to people. She happens to live in a society, in a time and place when the convention is "a woman's place is in the home", something she isn't even necessarily adverse to -- she could see herself playing infangwif for this particular guy. On one condition, and then only : that he agrees she's a person.
He loves her also, and does agree she's a person, in the general. In the particular he has serious trouble navigating the nutty, idiosyncratic, peculiar and eccentric manner in which she's decided to go about reconciling theory with practice. He has firm ground to stand on, too, "reporting's no kind of job for a woman" and all that. It's two pronged, his stance : on one hand, women aren't quite as variant as men, and consequently not quite as disposable. On the other hand, the good old boys club, the only practical way to do anything in the city, does not include women.ii
So we get to watch them chasing each other through a complicated game of upper handiii whereby she discovers who the people at the murder were but he discovers what the jury says but she gets the girl to confess and so on and so forth -- all of it replete with period slang, crunching sour grapes, knowing a bleeding, there's a lot there (and Roscoe Karns' comedy is not even terribly offensive in the mix, somehow, surrealistically).
There's worse things you could do with a dame than watching this thing. Enjoy!———
- 1935, by Michael Curtiz, with Bette Davis, George Brent [↩]
- This latter prong has been mostly reversed by the flow of time, in 2018 as opposed to 1935 that same club does not include men, for the most part. This however has not fixed anything -- on the contrary, it has created a deeper tension, as the first prong is still there, and not likely to ever go away. [↩]
- First ups-last licks baseball decision is traditionally made through one party grabbing the bat at an arbitrary position, the other party grabbing neatly above that, and so continuing until someone grabs the last bit. [↩]