Film Design Critique On She Married Her Boss, 1935

Mise-en-Scène is from a French word which means the preparation of the set up and also known as the Aspects of film design, which it includes the setting, lighting, costume, camera works and sound to do the post-production. Using Mise-en-Scène in the film critique, it is a guideline to observe well on the film in terms of how the set up being used and to clearly see on the preparation which it gives a result either it contributes to the success or failure of the film. Thus in this assignment, I will use Mise-en-Scène as my guidance to do the film critique on “She Married Her Boss 1935” film. To organize the discussions of the scenes, three-act structure will be applied for better understanding. To do the film critique, I will choose to analyze the aspect of film design on camera position, angles and movements that have been applied in this film. Basically, to create a film it is very essential to have knowledge and better understanding on how the camera works such as camera positions, angles and movements. The director should plan and know how to use or visualize the settings of the camera works based on the script for instance, where the camera should be placed and how they shoot the scenes. Briefly explain, the uses of camera position, angles and movements in the film are to help the viewers to view on which they should focus on and help to understand the storyline better. Nevertheless, there are many things to consider in every category of camera positions, angles and movements for examples, in camera positions, it has three-quarter, frontal, side, back, extreme long shot, long shot, medium shot, close-up shot, extreme close-up shot, two shot, over the shoulder shot, cut-in shot, cut-away shot, point-of-view shot and selective focus. For angles, it includes low angle, high angle, worm’s eye and bird’s eye. While for camera movement, it consists of zoom, pan, tilt and dolly. In this film critique, I will analyze on how “she married her boss 1935” film uses their camera works by applying the concepts and theories to support the statements.


At the first act structure (the introduction), Julia Scott is a very hard-working secretary at a department store and fall in love with her own boss named Richard Barclay, However, the boss ignored her intentions, except any matter that related to work. When Julia out for lunch with Martha Pryor, Martha tells Julia that she has work to offer in Paris as department store manager. Due to Julia’s love towards her boss, she rejects it. A scene where it started everything is when Julia and her boss Richard has to work up late and she insists to have dinner at his place. Richard then introduce Julia to his family members, his sister (Gertrude) and his daughter (Annabel) who is a very misbehaved young girl. Richard allows Julia to give a lesson to his daughter but later she feels worry to what she have done and tells Martha (her best friend) about it. Martha then tells Richard that Julia will go to Paris to get a better job. This makes Richard uncomfortable and confront Julia. Julia tries to give justification and leads them to get married. For the second-act structure of this film (climax), At Richard’s place, Julia demands to be carried into the house by thresh-hold. Richard’s sister, Gertrude does not like the marriage and tells that the marriage would not last long. Julia then decides to work the business at home. The office is seriously insane and mess up. Simultaneously, Annabel has rejected to eat when Julia is in the house, but Julia tries to get along with her and Rodgers, one of her a prospective business partner. Gertrude still persists to fail the marriage. While Julia and Rodgers are meeting for business at the house, Annabel intrude, and they all start singing, Richard feels uncomfortable with the scene and gets angry with Julia. The last structure (the resolution), when Richard wants Julia to have the business contract with Rodgers which forces Julia to go down to Philadelphia to follow Rodgers to convey Richard’s wish. However after a while, Annabelle wants Julia to get back home which coerce Richard to go to Philadelphia and bring her back. The day he arrives, Julia and Rodgers drink together and spend a night at Rodger’s display store and get caught by the media. Richard feels disappointed about the news and tells Julia that he cares more about his business than her. Julia feels her marriage is over and plan to cruise to Cuba and Panama with Rodgers who seems to appreciate her more than Richard. When she pack her clothes, Annabel asks Julia to stay. At the same time, when Richard knows Julia is in his place, he encounter Julia unconsciously and pretends that he has a gun in his pocket which forces Julia to get into the car and driven by his drunk butler. Richard then stop by to collect bricks and get back to store. He let Julia and himself to throw the bricks to the store window . When the police chases them, they go for cruise to Cuba to run away.


To summarize the plot, it is a story about a woman named Julia Scott which work as the secretary, who has a feeling with her boss but never get response from him (Richard Barclay). She rejects to work in Paris but plans to move to France to search for her future husband. Due to this circumstances, Richard decides to marry Julia as he afraid to lose one of his best workers. However, he apply rules that Julia should manage his daughter and sister in return to their marriage. Towards the end, Julia realizes that Richard only wants her for the sake of his business and she decides to help Richard’s opponent in order to get Richard’s attention.

Camera positions

For the camera positions in “She Married Her Boss, 1935” film, it has been analyzed that the director often use extremely long shot, long shot, medium shot, two shot, medium-close up shot, point of view shot and frontal shot to captured the scenes. For extremely long shot, normally it covers the whole subject with their surroundings where it is often use to show the locations and what was happening around it. In the film of “She Married Her Boss, 1935” it obviously showed that the director used extremely long shots at the first-act structure of the very beginning of the film as it exposed the picturesque of the surroundings of the film at which the shots was clearly taken from a very far distance in order to get the view and a transition from a city to a building of “Barclays” (Duration of 0.56). The motive was to give an idea to the audience about the venue of where the film has been taken. The director also used extremely long shot for the third-act structure which is the ending of the film where Richard and Julia was on their way to the cruise. Sometimes, this shot can be classify as establishing shot where the scene in the frame was used to create the set up and responsible to give idea about the surroundings and also to give a hint to the audience regarding the time in the scenes whether it is day or night.

For a long shot, it is a shot that shows the whole picture of the subject or the characters which typically from their heads to toes. There are many long shots found in this film, especially when there are many characters to include in a scene. For examples, a scene where Richard’s daughter get mad and confront to Julia that she does not like the Piano and a scene of Julia making Richard’s daughter to go to sleep. Also a scene, where the director use a long shot when Julia and Rodgers was in the Rodgers’s display room to have fun. The reasons of using long shots for the scenes were because the director wanted the audience to focus on the setting and secondly because the characters were asked to use the settings thus they have to move around. In this case, if the director uses other shots for example, medium shot, it needs a lot of camera movements due to limited space of frame and it might cause the audience to have motion sickness.

Another shot that have been found in this film is the medium long shot. It is a shot of three-quarters of the subject where the frames started from the top to the knees and this kind of shot usually is to include more than 2 persons in one scene. This shots have been used many times and can be classify as the majorly shots for this film because there a lot of scenes where the frame needs to include more than two persons or characters. For instances, at the first-act structure where Julia was on the phone and she was approached by her boss and also the complainers. Also to include a scene moment when Richard was congratulate for his marriage by his workers. The objectives of using medium long shot for such scenes were to focus on the facial expressions of each characters that have been included in the scenes. If the director were to used other type of shots, such as medium shot, the frame might missed some characters because of small space and if the director were to used long shot then the facial expressions might not be seen and might cause the audience not to feel the psychological impact. Also to include another shots that have been found in this film is the medium shot. It is a nearer version of medium long shot and the shot basically just a bit of zoom in of medium long shot. The frame range is from the top up to waist of the characters and often use to show the conversations between characters. In this film, there are also many medium shots that have been used after the medium long shots such as scenes of the first-act structure where the woman from the call center answer the phone call and a scene from the second-act structure where Richard agreed to give Julia a thresh-hold and asked for help from his butler named Franken. The aim of using these medium shots are to captured or to show the impressions of the characters to the audience to feel the realistic feelings from the characters to increase the psychological impact. Apart from medium shots, there were also medium close-up shot. It is a shot where the frame range is from the character’s head until their mid-chest position. This shot is to focus on the characters and more to expose on their facial expressions which and this lead to show a minimum cover of the settings. The medium close-up shots that have been used in this film were the scenes from second-act structure where Annabel tells Richard that she saw someone who looks like a burger during their dinner scene and also a scene when Richard mocking Julia about her attitude changed after marriage at the duration of 57.52 of the film.

For the point of view shot, it is a shot of a character’s view of whom they look at. The camera position sometimes placed in the middle of the character viewing at certain object and often show the reaction of the character and sometimes it’s called as reaction shot. As an illustration of this point of view shots, it can be seen from the first-act structure of Richard’s maid scene where she was eavesdropping Julia who tried to punish Richard’s naughty daughter who does not want to sleep and in the scene it shows her reaction towards Julia’s action which she somehow looks satisfied with Julia’s action. The motive of this shot is to let the audience feel what the character’s feel throughout the scene and to give mutual feelings between the characters and also the audience. For the last but not least of camera positions found in this film is the frontal shot. A frontal shot is a shot that make the audience feel the interconnection between each other where it is often seen as subjective shot. The frame will consists the whole of the character’s facial expressions, as the main cause to shoot using this kind of shot is to clearly show the expressions itself. In this film, the time where the director uses the frontal shot is when Julia is on the phone with someone and ask the person to buy a piano as the present for the Richard’s daughter. This frontal shot helps the audience to understand the feelings of the characters on what was happening throughout the scene. Apart from that, they also use camera positions frame of two-shot for the conversation between two person where usually it is between the lead actor and lead actress (Richard and Julia) and any other characters as well.

Camera angle

Apart from knowing the camera positions in the film, it is also important to know the best angle to shoot for the scenes to give more dramatic effects towards the audience. For the camera angle, most of the time the director uses eye level angle to shoot the scenes. Only few scenes were shoot for high and low level angle.

It is a common angle for the film to shoot using an eye level angle or a standard level angle at which the angle follows the human level angle to see. The reason of using eye level angle is to give the neutral effect or realism to the audience accordance to the film genre. Since this film is the romantic type of genre thus the film is more towards conversations from one person to another. In relation to that, it is the best to use eye level angle to give the realism reaction to the audience and this could help the audience to feel their presence in the film and also to help to create their own point of view.

Camera movement

Other than that, camera movements are also equally important to camera works which it is similar to camera positions and angles as it has function to make the connection from one scene to another. Camera movements can also be a transition where it sometimes follow the characters or the subject for instance in this film, the types of camera movements that they mostly used were zoom in, zoom out, pans and tilts. The reason of adding movements in the film is to adjust the arrangement of the character’s movement.

According to Film Riot, zoom movement is an enlargement of the subject that being focused on which it literally gives contribution in the psychological effects and emotional to the audience. This is because it cramps the background and smoothens the shot and sometimes this movement can cause the audience to feel uncomfortable, however, it depends on the scene itself. In “She Married Her Boss, 1935”, mostly the director uses zoom movements to highlight the place of the scenes and to show the facial expressions of the characters in the film. At the very beginning of the film which refers to the first structure, the director uses zoom in movement where at first it was a long shot then using a transition of zooming the scene to show the places. Other example of using zoom in movement to show the character’s facial expression, the moment when Richard’s daughter said “what you gonna to do?”. There were also a scene where the director uses sudden zoom in when Julia’s friend arrived at the Julia’s apartment receptionist.

Apart from using zoom movements, there is also a pan shot movement which the camera turns to the side, either to the left or to the right. The director also uses panning shot movements in this film where the camera follows the characters slightly whenever the character moves while they have conversation. For example, it can be seen from the first-act structure where Julia moves to the left to make the drink for Richard and the camera moves along with Julia. Another example of pan shot, it can also be seen from almost the last scene when Richard scare Julia’s friend while he drunk where the camera moves along with him. Also during the scene of Julia and Richard, they use a lot of pan shot movements. Another camera movements that they use is the tilt up and tilt down, according to Steve’s DIGICAMS, tilt movement is similar to panning shot, however in tilt moves upward and downward where it tells a storytelling behind the movements. This can be seen when Richard stands and sitting down while having conversation with Julia towards the end of first act structure.

Sometimes camera movements can be important depending on the situations and scenes where it can be advantage as it can use as camera transition between camera positions and angles. However, it also can lead to cons to the audience in such to have a lot of movements can cause to have motion sickness. Thus, the director needs to be more careful on the camera movements to avoid any of bad circumstances.


There are reasons why the director of this film chooses each camera positions, angles and movements that have been analyzed above. Camerawork or the cinematography techniques always an important material to have in order to provoke the audience in terms of their emotions and the psychological impact towards the film and without the camera works, the film will not be success or least success. For each camera positions, angles and movements have their own ideology in films in such of the audience’s point of views and their perceptions. Basically, cinematography techniques can manipulate their audience by framing the shot taken and cuts into preferred scenes where it produced the cinematic masterpiece and influence their audience through it. For instance, there are many scenes of Julia doing her work and in relation to that, this camera works actually has an objective to show to the audience about the character of Julia being a hard-working person in the film. While for the psychological impact of it is when the audiences believe of what being portrayed by relying on what they see either through camera works or actions that have been practically showed in the film.

03 December 2019
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