It had another title and Robert E. Sherwood of "Life" magazine explained ""Lucretia Lombard" has an alternative title "Flaming Passion" and is used in those districts were passion is popular"!!. Passion was very popular with Kathleen Norris who was the most widely read and the highest paid American woman writer from 1911 to 1959 and specialized in novels with plenty of romantic complications. Lucretia Lombard (Irene Rich) pays the price for marrying for wealth and a title
she has been shackled for years to a tyrannical husband (Marc
McDermott) whose dissipated younger life has left him a drug addicted wreck. Always the perfect wife, "Remember" she remarks to a disgruntled butler "we can get away from him but he can't get away from himself"!!
Across the road are the Winships and when Lombard dies of a drug overdose, D.A. Stephen Winship is called in when suspicion is thrown on Lucretia. Lombard is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, not only does he switch pill box lids so the poisonous painkillers can be mistaken for the mild aspirins, he sets the scene when young Fred Winship comes to take Lucretia to a charity ball by indicating that she would be only too happy to get rid of him. Norma Shearer has the part of Mimi, Judge Winship's (Alec B. Francis) petted ward. She wasn't the star, in fact her name was down the bottom of the cast but she had charisma and star quality that made you remember her - in fact Variety called her "the find of the cast"!!
Somehow Lucretia's problems are ironed out pretty quickly but Stephen has his own problems - he has somehow become engaged to Mimi and has no idea how it happened!! The judge and his wife are over the moon about it as it has always been Mimi's dream and Stephen finds himself swept along with the enthusiasm. Fred can't be left out of this turgid tale - he has gambling debts and confesses all to Lucretia who in her effort to shield Stephen consents to go with Fred into town to raise the money!! But wait!! - Stephen has seen them together, thinks there is no hope for him as far as Lucretia goes and when she returns to tell him of the real reason of her flight with Fred, Stephen has news of his own
he is now married to Mimi!! Yes, that's right - there had been a
hunting accident and thinking the judge may not live long, consents to marry Mimi so the old fellow can die happy!!
Of course all this can't be allowed to continue and it paves the way for a spectacular climax, combining an immense forest fire and the bursting of a dam!! Norma pulls all this emoting off with aplomb and in the most natural acting style. She even convinces that she is in love with the stodgy Monte Blue who must be at least 20 years older than she, but it seems to come off as hero worship!!
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