Skyscraper Souls (1932)
Directed by Edgar Selwyn and scripted by C. Gardner Sullivan and Elmer Harris from a story by Faith Baldwin this terrific pre-code drama stars Warren William as the powerful alpha male builder of a tall Empire State-like building in Manhattan New York City. Many of its tenants are office workers driven by greed and/or willing women that readily trade their sex to get what they want or regret not doing it. They’re played by Maureen O’Sullivan Anita Page and Verree Teasdale. Hedda Hopper plays William’s wife in name only who’s perfectly happy traveling and otherwise spending her husband’s money while he has his affairs. Norman Foster plays someone who pursues O’Sullivan’s ‘innocent’ character but can’t compete with William’s money or power. Gregory Ratoff and George Barbier play other pawns or victims in William’s power play(s). Jean Hersholt plays the owner of a jewelry store within the building; Wallace Ford plays someone who lets his greed and lust for Helen Coburn’s character (married to John Marston’s) control him to the point of tragedy. Several recognizable actors appear uncredited. No one is beyond trading stock on inside information but what goes up must go down and more deaths including the inevitable suicide jump from the titled skyscraper help to complete this tale of unfettered ambition.