Cast & Crew
Bernard B. Ray
Wilbur Crane, a meek bookkeeper at an advertising agency, is frustrated by his marriage to his nagging wife Martha and fantasizes about nude women. Because his flirtatious overtures to co-workers have been rejected, he decides to enroll in an art class to draw from live models, inspired by pictures of nude women in an art book he has purchased. When he meets a young woman named Dorothy at a bus stop, he asks her to the movies and fantasizes that he and Dorothy are the hero and heroine of the picture. They begin to see each other regularly, and after a time, Dorothy receives a letter from her real boyfriend, Danny, which says that he needs $500. By pretending she needs the money for her mother, Dorothy convinces Wilbur to get it for her. Because his relationship with Dororthy has exhausted his own finances, Wilbur resorts to embezzlement from his employer to obtain the money. He begins to feel very guilty, however, and when he returns to the office one night, he sees his boss talking with another man and assumes that they know about the embezzlement. He then goes to Dorothy's apartment to get the money back, and finds Danny there. During a fight, Wilbur knocks Danny down and Dorothy yells at him to get out. After accusing Dorothy of being a gold digger, Wilbur runs away, saying that he will kill himself. Dorothy then convinces Danny to go after Wilbur and return the money because she doesn't want trouble with the police to cause Danny's parole to be revoked. Danny finds Wilbur just as he jumps off a bridge into the river. After saving Wilbur's life, Danny tells him what a fool he has been, then returns the $500 and leaves. At his office, Wilbur returns the money, then sees a note from his boss saying that he will be receiving a fifty-dollar-a-month raise, and that he had come by earlier that evening to get some papers. When Wilbur returns home, Martha's nagging is stopped when he angrily orders her to be quiet. He then calls her "darling" and tells her about the raise, after which she gets out of bed and goes to her dressing table to put on some perfume.
Bernard B. Ray
The Film Daily review points out that the psychological sex theme of the film was enhanced by the film's technical properties. The review also refers to the picture's good "exploitational" possibilities because of its use of "art photos, nudes, and the 'Strange Interludes' of the mind...," and that it was on a "higher plane" than most other films of a similar type. 'Strange Interludes' refers to Eugene O'Neill's 1927 avant garde play of the same name. According to information contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the picture was rejected for certification by the PCA on April 30, 1938 because of its "improper treatment of illicit sex."
In a letter written by Joseph I. Breen, Director of Studio Relations at the PCA in Los Angeles, to Will H. Hays, president of the MPPA, Breen described the "It's" of the title as a reference to "the libidinous desires of a sex-hungry, middle aged accountant....The picture is dramatized in the manner of Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude, with strange voices-among them the voice of conscience-constantly whispering either good, or evil, messages into the ear of the sex-hungry weakling....the pretense of a psychological study, however, ought not to be taken seriously." Continental Pictures, Inc. re-released the film in 1941 under the title Fools of Desire.
Bernard "B. B." Ray remade this film in 1960 under the title Spring Affair. That film, which was also written and directed by Ray and maintained much of the original film's story, starred Lindsay Workman as "Wilbur Crane" and Merry Anders as "Dorothy" (see below).