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Public Stenographer (January 10, 1934)

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Lola Lane in Public Stenographer

Released on January 10, 1934: It is tough for a girl to find a good man in the big city jungle, and smart-alec stenographer Ann McNair finds crime and deceit on her way to the man of her dreams.

Directed by Lewis D. Collins

The Actors: Lola Lane (Ann McNair), William Collier Jr. (Jimmy Martin Jr.), Esther Muir (Lucy Weston), Jason Robards Sr. (Freddie White), Duncan Renaldo (Henchman Orsini), Bryant Washburn (Hendricks), Al St. John (Elmer), Richard Tucker (James Martin Sr.), Al Bridge (detective).


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Ann McNair is a public stenographer in the big downtown New York City Central Park Hotel. A public stenographer is a 'secretary for hire,' and wise-cracking Ann is an excellent stenographer. Her roommate and friend Lucy is the telephone switchboard operator at the hotel. As the movie opens, we watch Ann and Lucy walking through the night to get home from a date gone wrong. It seems that pretty girls in the big city can only find wolves and rogues when it comes to men. But Ann is a street-wise, smart talking gal that is up to any challenge, including the men of New York City. Through some cute back and forth 'I can't stand you, but I like you' antics, Ann hits it off with Jimmy Martin Jr., son of a wealthy businessman who builds dams and large construction projects. It looks like Ann has found her man, and this will be a happy chick-flick romantic comedy. But wait . . . there is danger ahead. Jimmy's dad has some competition that would like to put them out of business, and the competition may have sabotaged a new dam that Jimmy and his dad have just completed. And what's more, things may fall apart for Ann and her man. One morning Jim leaves New York for Cincinnati, Ohio without telling Ann, and the headline in the morning paper is about his engagement to another gal. But the worst thing is that Ann just spent the night with Jim. So after giving herself to the man she thought she would have forever, he uses her and then leaves town, and the days go by with no word from Jim. It looks like street-smart Ann wasn't quite smart enough, and the joke is on her. And there are more twists in this tale of love and disaster, but I'll let you savor them as you munch your hot buttered white kernel popcorn and see how these big city girls handle life in the fast lane.