Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


HIS PRIVATE SECRETARY (1933). Director: Philip Whitman.

Dick Wallace (John Wayne) is a good-natured, girl-happy playboy addicted to gals, parties and late nights. His grumpy father (Reginald Barlow) takes him into his firm but fires him on the first day when he fails to collect money owed by a minister. It seems the cleric uses his funds to help the poor -- and he happens to have a pretty daughter, Marion (Evalyn Knapp). Dick and Marion get married, but the elder Wallace wants nothing to do with them. Marion gets a job as the old man's private secretary and uses it to ingratiate herself with him, but a bigger problem may be Dick's old girlfriend, the slinky and conniving Polly (Natalie Kingston). His Private Secretary isn't as interesting as it sounds, but the likable characters and players help a lot. There's a nice scene when kindly Marion intercedes when Wallace fires dyspeptic employee, Mr. Little (Arthur Hoyt), even though he wasn't all that nice to her. Wayne [Legend of the Lost], Knapp and the others all give very good performances. Knapp starred in the sound-remake of the serial The Perils of Pauline the same year.

Verdict: Minor comedy-drama with very pleasant cast. **.

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