USA 1931 | Director: Dorothy Arzner | Script: Zoë Akins, based on „Blind Mice“ by Vera Caspary, Winifred Lenihan | Camera: Harry Fischbeck | Editor: Jane Loring | Music: Ralph Rainger | Cast: Judith Wood, Charles „Buddy“ Rogers, Paul Lukas, Stuart Erwin, Frances Dee | Production: Paramount Pictures | b/w | 35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive | 77 min | amer. OV | UCLA / Park Circus

Working Girls tells the tale of two sisters, May and June Thorpe, who come to New York City from Rockville, Indiana, determined to make careers for themselves as “working girls”. The ambiguity of the film’s title is never addressed directly in the film. But the double meaning of “working girl,” in its innocent literal sense and in its acquired sense that women who worked outside the home were morally suspect (eventually the term “working girl” became a code for “prostitute”), is evident throughout. The two sister must learn, simultaneously, the sexual politics of both work and romance. May and June move into the Rolfe House, a boardinghouse for single, working girls like themselves, i.e. women from rather poor backgrounds who have few available funds. The sisters go to work: they get jobs and boyfriends. As in all Arzner’s films featuring communities of women, strong bonds exist among the women who share the living quarters. Yet Arzner gently parodies such institutions. (Judith Mayne, 1994)

Introduction by Madeleine Bernstorff

GB 1963 | Director: Joan Littlewood | Camera: Walter Lassally | b/w | DCP of 16mm | 3 min | silent | British Film Institute / The Estate of Joan Littlewood

Dusty car race around a curve; couples watch happily or tensely, holding their betting slips tightly. Children grasp their candy... One man's escort has left her high heels behind; he sticks his tongue out at the camera.

FR, 26.11.21


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