Class at Crockett's

Ginger Rogers and Frances Dee in Finishing School (1934)

Whilst she comes from money Virginia Radcliff (Frances Dee) is not spoilt at all completely opposite of her snobby mother (Billie Burke). But Virginia finds herself at a prestigious Crockett Hall finishing school where she meets Cecilia (Ginger Rogers), Billie (Anne Shirley) and many other young girls like her come from money. But Virginia soon learns that whilst the school has rules and expectations the girls live by their own rule "Don't Get Caught". On a trip to the city, craftily organized by Cecilia, Virginia meets Ralph (Bruce Cabot) who whilst a med student works at the hotel at nights to pay for his studies as he doesn't come from money. Of course when Virginia and Ralph fall for each other it certainly doesn't go down well with either Virginia's mother or the school's headmistress (Beulah Bondi).

Take a dose of "St. Trinian's" with girls who constantly find ways to bend the rules of their well to do finishing school and then combines with a romance across the social classes with Virginia falling for the working class Ralph and what you have is the 1934 drama "Finishing School". And in truth it is a passable little pre-war drama which works through the humour of the girls bending the rules whilst also the melodrama of Virginia trying to escape from expectations of the headmistress and her mother. But from a storyline point of view "Finishing School" isn't anything special.

Ginger Rogers and Marjorie Lytell in Finishing School (1934)

But what makes "Finishing School" is really the cast and there are a lot of famous names from Hollywood's golden era such as Billie Burke and Beulah Bondi. The amusing this in that whilst the movie is really about Francis Dee and Bruce Cabot's characters and their forbidden relationship it is Ginger Rogers who steals the movie as she gets to play a comical bad girl who is an expert at bending the rules. Truth be told none of the performances are overly memorable just enjoyable.

What this all boils down to is that "Finishing school" is an entertaining distraction for those who enjoy watching the stars of Hollywood's Golden age. But it isn't anything special and like the characters in it, it's not overly memorable.

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