Professional Sweetheart (1933)
Source: Motion Picture Herald, July 1933
“Professional Sweetheart” with Ginger Rogers and Norman Foster
(RKO, June 16; running time, 71.5 minutes)
A fair program comedy. The story is simple and even silly at times, but it is amusing because it burlesques radio and shows how, with the proper publicity, myths are built up about the performers that are directly in contrast to their real natures. For instance, Ginger Rogers is known the country over as “The Purity Girl,” the type that does not drink, smoke or go to night clubs. But she is just the opposite of that for she wants to do just those things but is forbidden to do so by her sponsor, Zasu Pitts, as a newspaper reporter, provokes hearty laughter by her interest in the life and romance of Ginger. Comedy is aroused, too, by the rivalry between Gregory Ratoff and Edgar Kennedy, because of their radio advertising hours: —
Ginger Rogers, singer on Gregory Ratoff’s Ippsie-Wippsie Wash Cloth Radio Hour, is known as the “Purity Girl.” She tells Ratoff that she will rebel unless she is permitted to have a sweetheart, go to Harlem night clubs, and drink and smoke. Frank McHugh, Ratoff’s agent, decides to get a sweetheart for Ginger. He picks out a letter from her fan mail, from Norman Foster, a young man from the Kentucky hills. He is brought to New York and eventually is forced into a marriage with Ginger. This is all done with a tremendous amount of publicity and Ginger is pleased. But Norman had been told by a rival firm that it was all a stunt. Their idea was to have Ginger sign up with them. Instead Norman takes her to his cabin in Kentucky and although she rebels at first she grows to like it and does all the housework. Frank McHugh and the rival firm’s agent find out where she is and hurry there to sign her. While the rival agent is there Norman turns on the radio to the station on which Ginger had formerly sung. He speaks highly of the singer and Ginger, jealous, signs a new contract with the rival firm. Frank signs up Norman and works out his plans so that Norman and Ginger will refuse to go on the air unless they can both be on together. This brings about a merger between the rival firms. Ginger is happy because she is permitted to act as she pleases.
The plot was adapted from a story by Maurine Watkins. It was directed by William Seiter. In the cast are Allen Jenkins, Lucien Littlefield, Franklin Pangborn, Frank Darien, Theresa Harris, and others.
Suitable for children, adolescents, and for Sundays.
Substitution Facts: This is replacing 31 no listed on the contract as Mistress of Moscow, and described in the press sheets as follows: “A timely, gripping story of today and tomorrow’s Russia, will bring that exotic new RKO Radio personality, Gwili Andre, to her first starring role in a lavish production made by an ace director.” It is a star and theme substitution.
Source: Harrison's Reports, 10 June 1933