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Ann Carver's Profession

Ann Carver's Profession(1933)

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teaser Ann Carver's Profession (1933)

Frank Capra gets all the credit for crafting true-blue Americana tales like It Happened One Night (1934) and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), but much of what's thought of as "the Capra style" owes a debt to his screenwriter Robert Riskin, whose stories of decent, hardworking everymen made them populist favorites. Here, in a story that's shot through with the gendered economic realities of the Depression, the everyman is a woman (Fay Wray) who becomes a successful lawyer while her husband (Gene Raymond) can't get his career jump-started. When he quits in disgust to become a nightclub singer, will the lady lawyer have to abandon career for marriage to keep her husband out of the clutches of a sloshed torch singer (Claire Dodd)? While directed by Edward Buzzell (later director of Marx Brothers movies The Circus (1939) and Go West (1940) Riskin was quite involved: extant working copies of the shooting script include his notes on shots and camera angles. And while this movie is overshadowed in Wray's biography because it came out the same year as King Kong, this tale of marital dischord can't overshadow how Wray and Riskin were happily wed in 1942.

By Violet LeVoit

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