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Hold Your Man

Hold Your Man(1933)


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When his confidence game goes awry, Eddie Hall flees from two New York policemen and charges into the apartment of stranger Ruby Adams, who is in the bathroom taking a bubble bath. Terrified of being caught, Eddie convinces Ruby to cover for him and then, after jumping into her bathtub, pretends to be her soap-covered husband. Although she feigns indifference toward him, Ruby, a seasoned manipulator of men, is disappointed when the flirtatious Eddie slips away without saying goodbye. Determined to meet up with Eddie again, Ruby repeatedly drags Al Simpson, a sincere, adoring salesmen from Cincinnati, to a local nightclub whose name Eddie had dropped previously. When Eddie finally appears there, Ruby once again masks her interest with irritation and indifference, but eventually ends up at his apartment. During her visit, Eddie's confidence game cohort, Slim, and Gypsy Angikon, a one-time lover of Eddie's, burst into the apartment. After a brief fight with the drunken Gypsy, Ruby gives in to Eddie's seduction and spends the night with him. The next morning, Slim and a friend approach Eddie with a robbery scheme, and against the warnings of Ruby, Eddie agrees to drive the getaway car. Unknown to Eddie, however, the getaway car has been stolen, and he ends up with a ninety-day jail sentence for auto theft. When Eddie is released from prison, he returns to his apartment, which has been redecorated by Ruby, and with Slim's help, immediately plans another confidence scam. Although Ruby reluctantly goes along with her part in the "sucker" game, which involves luring Aubrey Mitchell, a well-to-do, married admirer, to Eddie's apartment, Eddie, who is to pose as Ruby's protective brother, suddenly becomes jealous and interrupts the set-up prematurely. Aubrey deduces the scam and threatens Eddie, who knocks him unconscious in the hallway. At last aware of his love for Ruby, Eddie proposes a visit to the marriage license bureau and leaves Slim in charge of Aubrey. While the couple is away, a neighbor discovers that Aubrey is dead, and the police are notified. Although Eddie escapes from the police, Ruby is identified by the neighbor and is arrested. Sentenced to two years in a woman's reformatory, Ruby discovers that one of her three roommates is Gypsy, whose jealous hatred immediately reignites. While she adjusts to reformatory life, Ruby realizes that she is pregnant but has no way of contacting the fugitive Eddie. Although the still devoted Al proposes to her while she is incarcerated, Ruby refuses him, even though marriage would guarantee her parole. Eventually, however, the recently released Gypsy, who has seen Eddie and now understands the sincerity of the couple's love, returns to the reformatory on visitors' day with Eddie in tow. Because he is a fugitive, Eddie is unable to speak directly to Ruby but must pose as another inmate's brother. Ruby and the other women's strained behavior attracts the attention of the reformatory matrons, who finally deduce Eddie's identity and contact the police. Before the police arrive, Ruby's friends conspire to bring Eddie and her together long enough to be married in the reformatory chapel by the minister father of a black inmate. After serving a prison term, the rehabilitated Eddie is greeted at Grand Central Station by both Ruby and their young son and learns that the three of them are moving to Cincinnati, where Al has set him up in a job.