Ruth (Nancy Carroll) is a respectable bank secretary who never gets into trouble... until one night. She's out all night, having escaped from a guy who wouldn't take "no" for an answer. She drops exhausted on Romer's doorstep, he comforts her and sends her home in his car. People believe she's done something naughty with the town's bad boy. This is the turning point in Ruth's life, and it's dramatized by the over-sized faces of gossipers on the telephone superimposed over the image of the local switchboard.
|"Have you heard..."|
Ruth loses her job and self respect. She's in a pickle. It's kind of like The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1945) - complete with eccentric father and smart-mouthed little sister - but with the ratio of comedy to drama inverted. However, unlike Morgan's Creek, absolutely no one believes our heroine's story or attempts to help her.
|All by herself|
Ruth is completely alone.
She runs to the boy-next-door, Bill (Randolph Scott), who just blew back into town and knows nothing of the scandal. He's the soul of truth and honor and respects Ruth as something beyond a paycheck (unlike her family) and something other than a social toy (unlike the other guys and gals in town).
|Playful conversation with friend, Bill|
[If you don't want the ending spoiled, read no farther.]
But even Bill rejects her when he hears of her reputation. Actually, he's more jealous of Romer than anything else. So in swoops Cary Grant to save the day and promises to marry the girl - two outsiders comfort each other and get out of Dodge. I guess the two or three little talks Ruth and Romer have in this film are enough to cement the decision, but the whole situation is rushed.
The lady has little alternative; you truly get a sense of Ruth's helpless state as a lady wronged by a group of gossips. The pity of it is the townsmen never realize what they've done, so it will likely happen again.
By the way, I absolutely love Nancy Carroll's wind-blown hairdo in the final shot, leaving home. It not only looks pretty on her, it's a symbol of freedom. Her hairstyles up to that point in the film are various contemporary helmet-like looks. Even her hair was constrained in that town.
|Superfluous screenshot of Grant in a tux. I couldn't pass it up.|
Hot Saturday had decent reviews. You can read the New York Times review of it by clicking here. It's kind of cute that they misspell Grant's name.
Update: Read the backstory of Hot Saturday at Carole and Co. Carole Lombard was originally slated for the role.