Harriet Boyd (Susan Hayward) is a model in New York’s garment district, but she has bigger dreams than to spend the next several years of her life posing. She’s an aspiring designer, with a whole lot of talent. With the help of her partners — a production manager (Sam Jaffe) and a salesman (Dan Dailey), both experienced in the business of fashion — Harriet makes plans to start her own dressmaking business.
I Can Get It For You Wholesale was directed by Michael Gordon. Based on a novel by Jerome Weidman, the film was adapted by Vera Caspary and screenwritten by Abraham Polonsky.
This film has a fun opening with narration that speaks of the dress-making industry in NYC: the ever-changing fashions, and the many people involved in keeping the businesses running, from models to seamstresses to salesmen. The fashions (and “fashion shows”) incorporated into the film are fun to see as well; I loved watching Hayward’s character critique the garments.
The film has some very strong dialogue. It’s a snappy little script that Polonsky has cooked up, and it got several laughs out of me with its snark, but it contains a fair bit of drama as well. The good script is further elevated by good performances, providing an interesting look at an industry that has changed a lot over the years.
Susan Hayward is well-cast in her role of an ambitious, attractive garment model and designer. She is a character that has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to share them. Perhaps she shares those opinions a bit too harshly at times (in one scene, she literally tears a dress apart while it’s still on the model!), but she’s self-aware, realizing that the pressure she’s under exacerbates some of her less-likable qualities. Her outbursts are also somewhat forgivable because they’re driven by a clear passion for her craft.
I Can Get It For You Wholesale won’t be immediately added to the top of my “favorites” list, but I liked it quite a bit. The score: 3.5/5