Like the contemporaneous Columbia feature Party Wire, RKO Radio's Grand Old Girl paints a surprisingly bleak and cynical portrait of "respectable" small-town America. After 38 years of faithful service as a schoolteacher, Laura Bayles (May Robson) is unceremoniously fired when she challenges local gambling interests in a heated political campaign. Evidently, virtually everybody in town knows that the gamblers are corrupting their youth in the back room of the local drug store, but nobody cares. In fact, many are hostile toward Laura for blowing the whistle. Refusing to give up on her campaign, Laura ultimately brings the sordid situation to the attention of the President of the United States (Gavin Gordon), who, as luck would have it, was one of Mrs. Bayles' former pupils. Although Fred MacMurray and Mary Carlisle were borrowed from Paramount and MGM (respectively) for box office insurance, Grand Old Girl is May Robson's show all the way.
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