He Hired The Boss (1943)

he hired the boss 1943

Pleasant comedy with Stuart Erwin as a timid bookkeeper and air raid warden. He’d afraid to ask for a raise of his forty dollar a week salary and is too shy to ask his girlfriend to marry him until he makes more money.

One night patrolling the area of the Bates Company warehouse where he works Hubert Wilkins (Stuart Erwin) keeps trying to get people to turn out their lights during a blackout. A few suspicious characters from the shipping department are hanging around including Jordan (Hugh “Ward Cleaver” Beaumont) and Stokes the manager.  The government has called a halt to anyone selling silk since the army needs it for parachutes. Wilkins sees some silk where it shouldn’t be but forgets about it.

The next day on his way to work his friend Perry Randolph the banker urges him to march into his boss Mr.Bates’s (Thurston Hall) office and demand a raise. He says the world is no place for timid men. Bates turns him down. He has a loan out from the bank and Perry grants him a two week extension before he has to call it in.

Hubert has been the head accountant for fifteen years. His assistant is Clark. The office boy is Jimmy (Benny Bartlett). Hubert’s girlfriend Emily (Evelyn Venable) is Bates’s secretary.. Bates’s son Don (William T.Orr) is on leave from the Navy. He tells his father he wants to marry Emily’s sister Sally. Dad doesn’t approve because he has plans for Don. That night Emily tells Hubert she doesn’t care how much a man makes but he won’t take the hint to pop the question.

The next day he gets a draft notice. Everyone is happy for him and he goes for his physical. He passes.  Bates throws him a farewell party and the staff gives him some small gifts. The next week he’s back in the office. After reporting to the army he started sneezing. They said he was allergic to dust and turned him down. He asks for his job back. He says he’ll except the assistants job because he doesn’t want to spoil Clark’s promotion. Bates hires him at twenty-five bucks a week.

Bates asks Emily to talk Sally out of marrying Don. He more than hints her job is at stake. That night at her apartment Don and Sally decide to elope. Emily waits for Hubert to once again pop the question.  Not yet. Emily gets mad and he leaves.

Outside he runs into Fuller, a salesman who has owed him four hundred bucks. He needed the money to buy lots in a housing development. Fuller has been coming up with phony excuses for six months not to pay him back and Hubert always lets him go. Fuller is in the army and convinces Hubert to go into a bar and buy drinks. He ends up buying for the house including rounds for a sailor (Dave Willock). Fuller says for another two hundred bucks Hubert can have another lot and now he’ll own all four. He writes him a check and that clears the debt..

Fuller told the bartender to just give Hubert some fizzy water and peppermint. Hubert doesn’t know it and thinks he’s drunk. Then he gets the bright idea that they should all go out and ring doorbells like it’s Halloween. They go to Bates’s house. That doesn’t go over to well and Bates fires him on the spot. The next day Bates finds out about Don and Sally and fires Emily.

Hubert and Emily go to see the lots. A real estate agent comes by. Things are looking up. He calls Perry to come out and things are even looking better. That night he has to break a date with Emily because he’s been called in for air warden duty. He goes to the warehouse and runs into Clark. Earlier that day Bates told him to take an inventory of the textiles, especially the silk. The timid Hubert may be a thing of the past.

There’s nothing really special about this but Stu Erwin is fun to watch and so is Bobby Bartlett as Jimmy the office boy. If you’re looking for a wartime comedy this would be a decent one to check out.

William T.Orr turned from acting to producing and was behind many of the top TV shows from Warner Brothers.

This was Evelyn Venable’s last movie. She was a drama instructor at UCLA after leaving the movies.

Thurston Hall played the bank president Mr.Schuyler on “Topper” (1953-55).

Emily (Evelyn Venable) tells Hubert (Stu Erwin) to man up

Emily (Evelyn Venable) tells Hubert (Stuart Erwin) to man up

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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