Hold Your Man


1h 27m 1933
Hold Your Man

Brief Synopsis

A hard-boiled babe and a con man wear down each other's rough edges.

Film Details

Also Known As
Black Orange Blossoms, He Was Her Man, Nora
Genre
Romance
Drama
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jul 7, 1933
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 30 Jun 1933
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

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.

Film Details

Also Known As
Black Orange Blossoms, He Was Her Man, Nora
Genre
Romance
Drama
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jul 7, 1933
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 30 Jun 1933
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Articles

Hold Your Man


Hold Your Man (1933) was the third of six films co-starring Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, and the follow-up to their teaming in the phenomenally successful Red Dust (1932). Hold Your Man is the story of a con man on the lam who falls in love with a good-hearted dame. She takes the rap for a crime he's committed, and goes to reform school. But love eventually conquers all.

Writer Anita Loos and Harlow were also a winning team. Loos would write five Harlow films, of which Hold Your Man was the second. The amoral character Harlow had played in their first collaboration, Red-Headed Woman was one of the reasons the studios' self-regulatory Hays Office had tightened its Production Code. Loos' original story for Hold Your Man makes it clear that Harlow's Ruby and Gable's Eddie have premarital sex. But MGM chief Louis B. Mayer demanded that Ruby be punished for her sins. Loos' solution was to send Ruby to reform school, and to devise an ingenious way of getting the couple married. There were few complaints. The Variety critic commented, "earlier sequences have plenty of ginger, but the torrid details are handled with the utmost discretion while conveying a maximum of effect."

Ever the wisecracker, Harlow told reporters, "They have me singing in a reformatory! My singing would be enough to get me in, but I'd never be able to sing my way out." Still, she charmed the press with her Mae West-ian way with the film's title song.

But critics weren't as satisfied with Hold Your Man's somewhat awkward mix of comedy and melodrama. "The sudden transition from hard-boiled wisecracking romance to sentimental penitence provides a jolt," said Frank Nugent in the New York Times. But he added, "Miss Harlow and Mr. Gable will not disappoint their admirers." How right he was. The film cost $266,000 to make, and grossed $1.1 million - a 400% profit. Harlow was now one of MGM's most successful stars, and it was clear that she could carry a picture on her own, without an important male co-star. She would do just that, spectacularly, in her next film, Bombshell (1933).

Director: Sam Wood
Producer: Sam Wood
Screenplay: Anita Loos, Howard Emmett Rogers, based on a story by Loos
Editor: Frank Sullivan
Cinematography: Harold G. Rosson
Art Direction: Merrill Pye
Music: Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown
Principal Cast: Jean Harlow (Ruby Adams), Clark Gable (Eddie Hall), Stuart Erwin (Al Simpson), Dorothy Burgess (Gypsy), Muriel Kirkland (Bertha Dillon), Garry Owen (Slim), Barbara Barondess (Sadie Kline), Paul Hurst (Aubrey Mitchell).
BW-87m. Closed captioning.

by Margarita Landazuri

Hold Your Man

Hold Your Man

Hold Your Man (1933) was the third of six films co-starring Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, and the follow-up to their teaming in the phenomenally successful Red Dust (1932). Hold Your Man is the story of a con man on the lam who falls in love with a good-hearted dame. She takes the rap for a crime he's committed, and goes to reform school. But love eventually conquers all. Writer Anita Loos and Harlow were also a winning team. Loos would write five Harlow films, of which Hold Your Man was the second. The amoral character Harlow had played in their first collaboration, Red-Headed Woman was one of the reasons the studios' self-regulatory Hays Office had tightened its Production Code. Loos' original story for Hold Your Man makes it clear that Harlow's Ruby and Gable's Eddie have premarital sex. But MGM chief Louis B. Mayer demanded that Ruby be punished for her sins. Loos' solution was to send Ruby to reform school, and to devise an ingenious way of getting the couple married. There were few complaints. The Variety critic commented, "earlier sequences have plenty of ginger, but the torrid details are handled with the utmost discretion while conveying a maximum of effect." Ever the wisecracker, Harlow told reporters, "They have me singing in a reformatory! My singing would be enough to get me in, but I'd never be able to sing my way out." Still, she charmed the press with her Mae West-ian way with the film's title song. But critics weren't as satisfied with Hold Your Man's somewhat awkward mix of comedy and melodrama. "The sudden transition from hard-boiled wisecracking romance to sentimental penitence provides a jolt," said Frank Nugent in the New York Times. But he added, "Miss Harlow and Mr. Gable will not disappoint their admirers." How right he was. The film cost $266,000 to make, and grossed $1.1 million - a 400% profit. Harlow was now one of MGM's most successful stars, and it was clear that she could carry a picture on her own, without an important male co-star. She would do just that, spectacularly, in her next film, Bombshell (1933). Director: Sam Wood Producer: Sam Wood Screenplay: Anita Loos, Howard Emmett Rogers, based on a story by Loos Editor: Frank Sullivan Cinematography: Harold G. Rosson Art Direction: Merrill Pye Music: Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown Principal Cast: Jean Harlow (Ruby Adams), Clark Gable (Eddie Hall), Stuart Erwin (Al Simpson), Dorothy Burgess (Gypsy), Muriel Kirkland (Bertha Dillon), Garry Owen (Slim), Barbara Barondess (Sadie Kline), Paul Hurst (Aubrey Mitchell). BW-87m. Closed captioning. by Margarita Landazuri

Quotes

Just two weeks ago, he (Eddie) sent me ten bucks for Christmas. I bet that's a bit of news to certain somebody.
- Gypsy
He was tossin' ten-dollar bills to ALL the tramps at Christmas!
- Ruby
Did you get yours?
- Gypsy

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Black Orange Blossoms and He Was Her Man. A March 1933 Film Daily news item announced that Anita Loos and John Emerson had written a screen story for a picture called Nora, which was to be directed by Sam Wood and star Gable and Harlow. It is not known for certain if Nora was a working title for this film. According to a Film Daily production news item, Leila Bennett was cast in the film, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed.