Beauty for the Asking

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

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

It tells the story of Jean Russell (Ball), who becomes romantically involved with a wealthy married man (Knowles) who later spurns her. She later invents a new facial cream, and with the financial backing of her former lover'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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