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Plot: The story of eight women and how they served their country during World War I.
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“Boy, That Dame Has Plenty of Guts”!!
Initially this was going to be a high class Paramount production with Dorothy Arzner directing and stars Jean Arthur, Fay Wray and Ruth Chatterton. But it was abandoned half way through, maybe because of Chatterton’s defection to Warners and when it was resumed it was under the more workman like direction of William Beaudine. Even though the stars were from Paramount’s B unit they were second to none – Lilyan Tashman (Lil), Fritzi Ridgeway (Snoop), June Clyde (Jan), Marceline Day (Dorothy), Irene Rich (Mrs. Schuyler), Evelyn Brent (Monica the Duchess) and Louise Fazenda (Fanny) are among a group of women who man the AVIS canteen.
The movie contains one of Brent’s most stellar performances, she plays Monica, a woman who has been on the front line so long she lives only for today. Her latest escapade threatens to send her back to the States. Brent has a few good scenes, especially one where she explains to a sympathetic Mrs. Schuyler (the warm yet regal Irene Rich) exactly why she must stay on the front line. Most of the action takes place in a deserted dugout where the girls seek shelter when their truck is bombed. Poor Dorothy is left for dead by the cowardly Snoop who, when everyone is settled starts spouting all the gossip, including the bits about Monica’s affair with Jan’s fiancée. So the scene is set for another showdown and this time June Clyde is given one of her few chances in films for a dramatic turn and she lets Monica have it!! All through the movie Lil Tashman wends her way, slinging around her choice barbs as only she can, as well as keeping up the group’s morale – from what she stores in her trusty hot water bottle!!
It does have elements of “The Women”, in that the men (“Tony”) are only talked about and at the very end a soldier is heard to say “Boy, that dame had plenty of guts”!! Sure there is a lot of battle talk and private lives are paramount but the seven strong female stars give performances that they can be proud of!!
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 3 min (63 min)
Genre Drama, War
Director William Beaudine
Writer Gertrude Orr, Doris Malloy, Henry McCarty
Actors Evelyn Brent, Irene Rich, Louise Fazenda
Country United States
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Aspect Ratio 1.20 : 1
Film Length 1,910 m (7 reels) (USA)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm