Working Girls (1931)


Working Girls (1931)

Two sisters have arrived in New York straight from the country and settle down in one of those boarding houses for single women. May, the older, is a bit naive, while June, the younger, is much more worldly and world-wise. The next day, they go out looking for jobs and June makes sure her older sister gets one, while she snags herself a job and a saxophone playing beau named Pat Kelly. May also finds a beau, Boyd Wheeler, a young lawyer with a degree from Harvard. While June enjoys herself and the presents she gets from Kelly, May falls more and more in love with Boyd and rejects a proposal from her boss, archaeologist Dr. von Schrader, who then fires her. Without a job, May is free to spend even more time with Boyd, despite her sister's warnings. She is heartbroken when she learns that Boyd has gotten engaged to a society girl. June does her best to comfort her sister and decides to ask Dr. von Schrader to hire May again. Since von Schrader has fallen in love with June, he rehires ...
IMDb  6.5 /10
Director Dorothy Arzner
Writer Zoe Akins
Writer Vera Caspary
Writer Winifred Lenihan
Release Date1931-12-12
Runtime1h 17mins
Content Rating
CompanyParamount Pictures
June Thorpe
Dorothy Hall
Dorothy Hall
Mae Thorpe
Dr. Joseph Von Schrader
Louise Adams
Mrs. Johnstone
Frances Moffett
Frances Moffett
Lou Hollings

Working Girls (1931 film)

Working Girls is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Dorothy Arzner and written by Zoë Akins, based on the play Blind Mice, written by Vera Caspary and Winifred Lenihan. The film stars Judith Wood, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Paul Lukas, Stuart Erwin, and Frances Dee. The film was released on December 12, 1931, by Paramount Pictures.


Two sisters from Indiana, Mae and June Thorpe, move into a house for homeless girls in New York. With June's help, Mae obtains a job as a stenographer for scientist Joseph von Schraeder, while June gets work as a telegraph operator. June begins dating Pat Kelly, a saxophone player who lavishes her with gifts. Mae begins to date Boyd Wheeler, a successful lawyer. Mae turns down a marriage proposal from von Schraeder, and von Shraeder asks that she then quit her job so he will not be hurt by having her around. Mae compromises her virtue with Boyd by staying alone with him one night in his apartment. She suffers for her choice when he goes out of town for a month and returns engaged to a socialite.

Now, June derides Mae for trusting someone from a higher class. As her sister has been out of work for months, June goes to von Schraeder, who kindly offers to rehire Mae. He realizes, however, that he is really in love with June. After her first week back at work, Mae asks von Schraeder to renew his proposal, as she is pregnant. He does so graciously, but on the eve of her engagement party, Boyd returns, his engagement having been broken. June is aware that Boyd is already responsible for one broken engagement and prevents Mae from seeing him again. June changes her mind, realizing her sister has a chance for happiness, and borrows Kelly's gun. Kelly, Mae, and June go to Boyd's apartment, where June forces Boyd at gunpoint to agree to marry Mae. He happily complies. Later, June and Kelly run into von Schraeder at a Chinese restaurant, and after sending Kelly away, June tells von Schraeder the news. He is not disappointed, revealing he is in love with her, which she reciprocates.


  • Judith Wood as June Thorpe
  • Dorothy Hall as Mae Thorpe
  • Charles 'Buddy' Rogers as Boyd Wheeler
  • Paul Lukas as Dr. Joseph Von Schrader
  • Stuart Erwin as Pat Kelly
  • Frances Dee as Louise Adams
  • Mary Forbes as Mrs. Johnstone
  • Claire Dodd as Jane
  • Dorothy Stickney as Loretta
  • Alberta Vaughn as Violet
  • Claude King as Mr. Adams