Beauty for the Asking

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Beauty for the Asking
Directed byGlenn Tryon
Written byDoris Anderson and Paul Jarrico (screenplay)
Edmund L. Hartmann (story)
Grace Norton and Adele Buffington (idea)
Produced byB. P. Fineman
StarringLucille Ball
Patric Knowles
Donald Woods
Frieda Inescort
CinematographyFrank Redman
Edited byGeorge Crone
Music byRoy Webb
Release date
  • February 24, 1939 (1939-02-24)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States

Beauty for the Asking is a 1939 film drama produced by RKO Pictures, and starring Lucille Ball and Patric Knowles.

It tells the story of Jean Russell (Ball), a beautician who is jilted by her boyfriend (Knowles) so he can marry an older but wealthy woman. Russell invents a new facial cream, and with the financial backing of her former boyfriend's wife (Frieda Inescort), starts a business that makes her a millionaire.


RKO's pre-release publicity claimed that the film was to be an "exposé of the beauty racket" but reviewers of the day concluded that it was a standard "romantic love triangle".[1]

Recently Leonard Maltin has written favorably of the film, suggesting that the film offered an unusual feminist viewpoint for its time, and acknowledging that Ball delivered a strong performance.[2]



  1. ^ Jewell and Harbin, p. 128
  2. ^ Maltin, p. 93


  • Jewell, Richard B. and Harbin, Vernon, The RKO Story, Octopus Books, London, 1982. ISBN 0-7064-1285-0
  • Maltin, Leonard, Leonard Maltin's 1998 Movie & Video Guide, Signet Books, 1997. ISBN 0-451-19288-5

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