Employees' Entrance thought

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

sethb

  • Posts: 369
  • Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:17 pm
  • Location: The Jersey Shore

Employees' Entrance thought

PostWed Sep 21, 2011 6:27 pm

I finally got to see "Employees' Entrance" a few days ago, courtesy of TCM.

I thought it was ironic that for its somewhat racy subject matter (seduction, adultery, sexual harassment & blackmail for starters), this 1933 Pre-Code film was preceded by a "G" subject rating on TCM. How times change!!

Also enjoyed Warren William's line upon seeing Loretta Young the day after he seduced her: "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!" They just don't make 'em like they used to, I guess. SETH
"Novelty is always welcome, but talking pictures are just a fad." -- Irving Thalberg
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk ?" -- Harry Warner
Offline

Richard P. May

  • Posts: 543
  • Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:12 am
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostThu Sep 22, 2011 9:06 am

Some years back, at Turner Entertainment Co., the legal people held periodic meetings about avoiding sexual harrassment in the workplace. We provided a clip from this film as an example of what not to do.
Dick May
Offline
User avatar

Jim Roots

  • Posts: 2687
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
  • Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostThu Sep 22, 2011 11:22 am

Richard P. May wrote:Some years back, at Turner Entertainment Co., the legal people held periodic meetings about avoiding sexual harrassment in the workplace. We provided a clip from this film as an example of what not to do.



(Erasing recently-written addendum to employees' handbook...)

Thanks a lot!


Jim
Offline

sethb

  • Posts: 369
  • Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:17 pm
  • Location: The Jersey Shore

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostThu Sep 22, 2011 4:44 pm

You mean that Warren William wouldn't be a great role model? I'm very disappointed!! SETH
"Novelty is always welcome, but talking pictures are just a fad." -- Irving Thalberg
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk ?" -- Harry Warner
Offline
User avatar

momsne

  • Posts: 436
  • Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostFri Sep 23, 2011 12:06 am

At the 24 minute mark, store manager Anderson is dealing with an irate customer, Mrs. Hickox, who was wrongly arrested by Sweeney, the store detective (played by Allen Jenkins). To get her not to have her husband, a newspaper publisher, print the story of her false arrest - bad publicity - Anderson offers to buy her off. He offers her any one item in the department store for free. She accepts his offer. Anderson tells Sweeney that he is on the hook for cost of her expensive freebie, which Sweeney will pay via a $10 weekly deduction from his salary.

In real life, illegal deductions from employee salaries were a common enough practice, but movies shied away from showing this illegal labor practice. At Warner Bros., studio production chief Zanuck made movies that showed what was going on in the real world outside the studio gates. So “Employees’ Entrance” has a plot line that includes incidents that moviegoers could relate to, such as having the boss make deductions from an employee’s wages to cover business losses the employee is held responsible for.

You would think that more recent Hollywood movies would include incidents like a waitress being billed for a customer who walks out of a restaurant without paying the check. You would be wrong, AFAIK. Employees’ Entrance, on the other hand, has no problem showing the ugly side of working life, including illegal wage deductions.
---
520 Mrs. Hickox
00:25:18,033 --> 00:25:20,667
I've always wanted a concert grand piano.

521 Anderson
00:25:25,434 --> 00:25:28,400
Will you have it sent or take it with you?

522 Mrs. Hickox
00:25:28,467 --> 00:25:29,934
Sent.

523 Anderson
00:25:30,000 --> 00:25:32,434
Very well. Miss Hall, take the address.

524 Anderson
00:25:32,501 --> 00:25:34,434
And do forgive us, Mrs. Hickox..

525 Mrs. Hickox
00:25:34,501 --> 00:25:36,400
Of course. With pleasure.

526 Anderson
00:25:36,467 --> 00:25:38,434
That’s very generous of you.

527 Anderson
00:25:38,501 --> 00:25:40,067
Good-bye, Mrs. Hickox.

528 Mrs. Hickox
00:25:40,133 --> 00:25:41,801
Good-bye, Mr. Anderson.

529 Anderson
00:25:48,934 --> 00:25:51,300
We’ll take $10 a week out of your salary, Sweeney.

530 Anderson
00:25:51,367 --> 00:25:52,868
till that piano is paid for.

531 Anderson
00:25:52,934 --> 00:25:54,534
And I’ll give you the wholesale price.

532 Sweeney
00:25:54,601 --> 00:25:56,200
$10 a week. Gee, it’ll take me

533 Sweeney
00:25:56,267 --> 00:25:57,834
the rest of my life, Mr. Anderson.

534 Anderson
00:25:57,901 --> 00:26:00,634
I doubt if you’ll live that long. Get out!
Last edited by momsne on Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

moviepas

  • Posts: 1028
  • Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:51 am

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostFri Sep 23, 2011 5:20 pm

My understanding is that such deductions were common up to recent times. I lived in Detroit in the 1970s as a guest of my mother's sister. I got to know lots of people and learnt how things worked there in comparison to back home in Australia. At the the time I met guys who had worked as teachers and got better money from being an A&P store manager. I also learnt that if your register was under you had to pay this back. I guess there was a key for the employee's number that went on the dockets issued to the customer. I would think that a check-out person going to the toilet or a break and forgot to see the number was changed could be in trouble if the relief was good at giving wrong change etc. I had a cousin, a girl, working in the local KFC(Colonel Sanders) and she told me about the system and we discussed this. Also there is the problem of the quick change merchant who starts with a $50 note and wanting all sorts of change and before you know it he has the original $50 note back again. The power of deliberate confusion. Usually done when you are busy, which is also the time when someone tries to complain, usually wrongly, about a product bought and hopes that this will make the operator give them their money back and clear them out, shut them up so to speak. Going out into the street and coming back saying the docket contains something they did not buy or got the wrong change is another. Running my own shop, usually, solo avoided this situation because I had a good memory and having a modern register with a saved sales record to fall back on I was able to baffle with science when they tried to get money back on something for an amount they did not pay and did not produce a receipt. They usually insisted they paid the money they claimed or told me that I did not check the product(records sold unsealed as was the norm here) but I always did.

Other areas I know about are:

My mother worked in the Melbourne variety theater, The Tivoli. She got the job at 14 for the next 4 years thru her dad, who was a carpenter there, from about 1941. She was in wardrobe as a milliner and also was a dogsbody, being a junior, running around town getting supplies and special tickets for performers to travel on trains due to the war when country travel was restricted to servicemen and some roads closed to Ford factories making war vehicles. Thus she worked with a lot of showgirls & ballet dancers. There were daily matinees as well s the night shows and frequent show changes. Many shows originated, then, in Melbourne before going to other theaters in the circuit. Management, or someone, would watch the shows and if a girl was out of step they had to stay back before the night show and rehearse & rehearse. And they were fined about 3 cents each into the bargain. The other performers, who were hired when needed, were not under this rule. There was no pay for rehearsals for these girls, either, in those days, only the performance.

London. In early 1971 I met, thru a recommendation from the British Film Institute, a former employee who had been pensioned off because of a stroke(he was in film repair etc for National Film Theatre screenings) and was a wellknown silent film buff and a friend of Ken Russell amongst others.

But his earlier life was in a piano manufacturing plant in Camden Town, where he then lived before going to a council flat in adjoining Kentish Town. he said he had a hateful forman. They had a policy that the big gates to the factory were closed 15mins after opening time and not opened until midday and thus half a days pay was deducted from the daily wages. Otherswould deduct latecomers for being 15mins late. When my dad worked in a radio factory in the 1940s there were two guys who always came late and were warned and warned but no pay deducted. One day the arrived late and the boss told them not to bother taking off their coat & hat and fired them on the spot. Businesses also used to fire people on any pretext when they reach 21 which was the adult age and, thus, adult wages. There are so many stories. But times have changed and working hours different as are conditions, not always for the better. Weekend trading has altered workers work times and wages allocations in this country. Employers are much more tolerant than Williams is today. I had a recent experience with a major supermarket chain when an employee on the checkout was acting oddly and I filled in a Feedback form about this. It turns out, from the manager, that the woman had been already out on notice and given so many chances and meetings with a counselor. The manager was not sure if there were problems at home but he needed ascertain this. Weeks later she is still there but it was reassuring for me that I was right in my Feedback. Warren would have done something devious and then fired her!!!!

I do know the film well as it was in laserdisc box set that I got in the 1990s and enjoyed it like I do most things Warren William and aware of their suggestive humor, which we can call it.
Offline
User avatar

momsne

  • Posts: 436
  • Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostFri Sep 23, 2011 9:51 pm

I also bought the first Forbidden Hollywood laserdisc boxset, with its high $100 list price for five pre-code movies. Expensive in 1994 for me, even with the slight discount from Laserland (10%, I think). As to illegal deductions, I can say I am an expert on those, having worked for Labor Standards in New York, working for that agency even before then Governor Hugh Carey decimated it in order to shut down a multi-million dollar case against a guard service that did not believe in paying time and one-half for overtime, but did believe in paying off government officials to fix cases. At least Labor Standards was not wiped out, unlike the corporate fraud Unemployment insurance (UI) section, which was defunded after that unit's head refused to drop a case against Vantage Petroleum, a Mafia-controlled chain of gas stations that had the franchise to sell overpriced gasoline on New York State highways. In the late 70s and early 80s, while Carey was governor, these stations mixed in PCB contaminated waste oil with the gasoline to cut costs. Coincidentally, Martin Carey, the governor's brother, was the operator of Vantage, which had priority getting set-aside gas allocations when the Arab oil embargo cut oil imports to the USA from the Middle East. Martin Carey even let the actual mob operator of Vantage film a porn movie in Carey's Newport, R.I. mansion. All those off the payroll book Vantage gas station employees never did get a chance to file for UI benefits, and New York never got a dime of the millions of dollars in UI payroll taxes Vantage owed New York.

Thanks to Governor Carey's cutting Labor Standards' investigation staff by more than half, illegal deductions from wages again became the norm for over twenty five years. As well, New York employers changed from paying lower rung manual workers who were not in a union on the basis of a weekly salary, not an hourly wage (except in Chinese restaurants, where employees got their pay once a month as always). Overtime pay at time and one-half the hourly salary became a thing of the past. There was virtually no enforcement of Article 6, section 193.1 of the NYS Labor Law, which covers illegal deductions directly from wages or by separate transaction. Labor Standards is currently run by former assistant attorney generals of then AG Spitzer, AAGs who came in like an army of occupation after Spitzer left his AG job to become Governor. Spitzer appointed his Labor Bureau Chief, Patricia Smith, Commissioner of Labor and she created 5 or 6 patronage Director jobs for her friends among the AG's staff who couldn't get Deputy Commissioner jobs, and she then set about targeting minority businesses for excessive civil penalties. Commissioner Smith even got a job for Lt. Governor Paterson's girlfriend, a PR person, putting her in charge of the newly created Bureau of Immigrant Rights, a patronage dump. Smith's work done in New York, Patricia Smith got Obama to appoint her Solicitor for the US Department of Labor, the highest legal post in the USDOL.

At least in Employees' Entrance, almost everything Kurt Anderson did was out in the open. At Labor Standards, one of the new directors there even found a way to fix promotion tests. Behind closed doors, of course.

I sometimes wonder if the high rates of breast cancer on Long Island are somehow linked to women drivers on the road 35 years ago breathing in tailpipe emissions from other cars on the road who bought Vantage gas adulterated with waste oil loaded with PCB contaminants. The good old days.
Offline

dr.giraud

  • Posts: 743
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:15 pm
  • Location: Albany, N.Y.

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostMon Sep 26, 2011 5:33 am

sethb wrote:I finally got to see "Employees' Entrance" a few days ago, courtesy of TCM.

I thought it was ironic that for its somewhat racy subject matter (seduction, adultery, sexual harassment & blackmail for starters), this 1933 Pre-Code film was preceded by a "G" subject rating on TCM. How times change!!

Also enjoyed Warren William's line upon seeing Loretta Young the day after he seduced her: "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!" They just don't make 'em like they used to, I guess. SETH


William actually says that line to Alice White, tipping us off that sexing employees is Anderson's M.O. (Having set Young up in a job, he's already forgotten her--for the time being.)
dr. giraud
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5880
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: Employees' Entrance thought

PostMon Sep 26, 2011 6:16 am

Greenbriar Picture Shows is talking this excellent pre-Code title and its star this week.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier

Return to Talking About Talkies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests