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Skyscraper Souls

Released Jul 16, 1932 1h 40m Comedy Drama List
Reviews 42% Audience Score 50+ Ratings
After bank president David Dwight (Warren William) makes a vast loan to himself to build a remarkable skyscraper, his board questions the propriety of the loan. Despite the devotion of longtime mistress Sarah (Verree Teasdale), the ruthless David, while seeking bank mergers to protect his building, tries to seduce Sarah's secretary, Lynn (Maureen O'Sullivan). David then agrees to a plot by a bank board member to inflate his bank's stock and sell short -- just before the market crashes. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Not shy about parading around its hot young starlet Maureen O'Sullivan in lingerie. Rated: C+ Dec 16, 2008 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member After watching enough of these pre-Code movies, you begin to notice a few recurring themes: women in lingerie for one contrived reason or another, references to an unmarried couple having had sex by showing them having breakfast, and men who aren't inclined to take 'no' for an answer, continuing to badger or paw a woman until she consents to go out with him. You'll find all of those things in 'Skyscraper Souls', an average movie for the time period which held my interest, but was not exceptional. Warren William plays the part of an executive whose passion is to erect and own a giant skyscraper, and he does well in the role. His character seems nice enough on the surface, well-spoken and polite, but it turns out that he'll do anything to get what he wants, including screw over his business partners, and tell his long-time mistress (a woman in the office) that he'd love to get married to her, but his wife won't consent to a divorce - when in fact he hasn't asked her for one. Hedda Hopper is fantastic as his wife, by the way, in the small role she has. When he notices his mistress's secretary, played by the lithe Maureen O'Sullivan, he starts putting the moves on her. O'Sullivan is also being aggressively pursued by a very annoying bank teller (Norman Foster) who she (somehow, painfully, argh) starts falling for, thus setting up one of the movie's conflicts. One of the problems the movie has is that none of the characters are all that likeable. That's not a requirement for a great film of course, and it's nice to see nuance and realism - but in this case, when it's heading for the ending it's heading for, it's hard to feel what the director Edgar Selwyn is trying to make us feel. Another problem is that it's a bit of muddled mix of drama and romantic comedy, which meanders about. The parts that relate to the corporate scheming bog down, although the insider trading and stock speculation is mildly interesting given it was just a few years after the great stock market crash. Overall, though, it's just a bit jumbled. Watch it for Warren William's smooth evil, and for the spirited and beautiful Maureen O'Sullivan, and you may enjoy it more than I did. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Quite a movie. Heavily influenced by events surrounding the Crash of 1929, it offers a deeper look into human nature. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member A plausibly, even artfully intertwined cross section of finance capitalist, monopoly capitalist life, from secretary and bank teller to the very top. (But the cleaning ladies, for example, are mere backdrop, like furniture.) Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member well made 'grand hotel' clone Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Early 1930s portrait of a ruthless banker David Dwight (Warren William) who will stop at nothing to get what he wants including women and keeping the status of his wealth - his skyscraper which towers over the Empire State Building in New York. He is married, but is seeing another woman who is aging so he has set his sights on the beautiful Lynn Harding (Maureen O'Sullivan) who herself has recently started a relationship with bank clerk Norman Foster (Tom Shepherd). Dwight looks only for personal betterment without caring who he impacts - the movie does remind people of the current attitude of corporate America and certainly would have resonated back in the early 30s as a result of the depression. It is hard to believe however that a character as stunning and seemingly smart as O'Sullivan would be in a position to choose between becoming the lover of a married rich man or to become the wife of an oafish, jealous and penniless man. The sets are quite amazing and William delivers a convincing portrait of the ruthless businessman. A decent film from pre-code 30s Hollywood. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member Wild AND mild. Pre-code winks and grins...plus degradation, ruination and (gulp!) death? Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Skyscraper Souls

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Movie Info

Synopsis After bank president David Dwight (Warren William) makes a vast loan to himself to build a remarkable skyscraper, his board questions the propriety of the loan. Despite the devotion of longtime mistress Sarah (Verree Teasdale), the ruthless David, while seeking bank mergers to protect his building, tries to seduce Sarah's secretary, Lynn (Maureen O'Sullivan). David then agrees to a plot by a bank board member to inflate his bank's stock and sell short -- just before the market crashes.
Director
Edgar Selwyn
Screenwriter
Faith Baldwin, C. Gardner Sullivan, Elmer Harris
Production Co
Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jul 16, 1932, Original
Runtime
1h 40m
Sound Mix
Mono