Beautiful "Babe" Laval presides over a bevy of curvaceous call girls in Atlantic City, where convention-going men with loose wallets and morals are plentiful. At ease in the clubs and backroom casinos, Babe handles her business with a smooth, sure hand. She's the queen of her world, but she dreams of escaping from it into a normal life, marriage and a home. The only real man in her life, Bill Bradley, runs a local underworld gambling house, and his career puts a chill on his chances of being a serious catch. Babe's future looks grim until she meets wealthy businessman Ward Hollister. Sparks fly when Babe looks to Hollister as a possible ticket out of Atlantic City, but her old beau Bradley has different ideas.
Shot on location on the boardwalk and Steel Pier in 1930's Atlantic City, Convention Girl is an unblushing, unapologetic glimpse into the tawdry and tarnished "glamour" of the shadowy side of the once and future east coast capitol of gambling and tourism. With water ski shows and a diving horse as backdrop, the film offers plenty of fascinating footage of the seaside resort in the unsettled years between the Great Depression and World War II.
The star of 1935's Convention Girl, Rose Hobart, enjoyed a steady career throughout the 30s and 40s, appearing in such films as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), The Tower of London (1939), Mr. and Mrs. North (1942), The Mad Ghoul (1943) and The Farmer's Daughter (1947). Her career was rudely cut short by by industry blacklisting during the 1950's McCarthy era.
Director Luther Reed is mostly noted by film historians for his screenwriting years at Cosmopolitan Pictures, the vanity studio created by William Randolph Hearst to produce starring vehicles for his long-time mistress, Marion Davies, as loosely portrayed in Orson Welles' 1941 masterwork, Citizen Kane.