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Finishing School

Condemned by the Legion of Decency and therefore a must for any pre-Code fans, Wanda Tuchock’s film is a hugely enjoyable romantic drama.

Dir Wanda Tuchock, George Nichols Jr
With Frances Dee, Ginger Rogers, Billie Burke
USA
1934
73min
Prod Co RKO Radio Pictures

Virginia Radcliff (Frances Dee) is enrolled at the exclusive Crockett Hall finishing school by her mother. Miss Van Alstyne (Beulah Bondi), the head of the school, informs her new student of the strict rules of ladylike conduct, but Virginia’s roommate Cecilia Ferris (an energetic Ginger Rogers) soon sets her straight. The giant hypocrisy is that staff do not really care what students do as long as it never becomes public and stains the reputation of the school. Wanda Tuchock is one of the few women who began her career in the silent era and maintained it during the early sound years, a time where female voices were even less represented than they are today. This new 35mm print (preserved by the Library of Congress) is a testament to her importance as a filmmaker from this era.

Julie Pearce


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