Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Glamour for Sale (1940)

GLAMOUR FOR SALE (1940) is my kind of "B" movie, a fast-paced 60 minutes which is diverting entertainment.

Anita Louise plays Ann, who works for Mrs. Middleton's very respectable escort service. The girls go on dates which are just that, dates, and are expected to be home (sober!) by 1:00 a.m.

Jim Daly (Roger Pryor) is a detective trying to crack open the people behind another kind of escort service, the not-very-reputable type. He persuades Ann to work with him investigating The Companion Club, a service engaged in criminal activities which is run by Frank (Don Beddoe), Louis (Paul Fix), and Peggy (June MacCloy). Among other things, the denizens of The Companion Club engage in blackmail, which has led to at least one suicide.

Ann dives right in, convincing The Companion Club crew that she's a smart gal on the make for big bucks. Things eventually get dicey when Ann's cover is blown but it's Jim to the rescue, over and done in an hour flat.

I confess I've never understood the bland, not-very-attractive Pryor's film career, but everyone else in the movie is lots of fun, starting with Anita Louise (reviewed last weekend in MILLIE). I've always liked her, and this is a nice part for her as the plucky Ann. She's sweet as pie and yet has gumption, very believable playing her part as a dame only interested in cash. She looks lovely and also sings at one point; it's a soprano voice which sounds like it could be her own singing, and IMDb indicates it's her.

MacCloy also has a song, and she's fun as the not-so-good dame helping run the escort service. The cast also includes Frances Robinson and Veda Ann Borg. I didn't pick out favorites Bruce Bennett, James Millican, or Ann Doran, listed by IMDb as having small parts, but maybe next time I watch it I'll keep my eyes on the background faces instead of the lead actors.

This Columbia Pictures film was directed by D. Ross Lederman and filmed by Franz Planer.

GLAMOUR FOR SALE, filmed under the racy title I'M FOR RENT, is shown occasionally on Turner Classic Movies. It screened last summer as part of the 24-hour tribute to Anita Louise during the annual Summer Under the Stars festival.


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