Lady of the Night ~ the story of two baby girls, born near in proximity, but worlds apart in life, - Molly Helmer, the daughter of a thief, and Florence Banning the daughter of the judge ... See full summary »
Lady of the Night ~ the story of two baby girls, born near in proximity, but worlds apart in life, - Molly Helmer, the daughter of a thief, and Florence Banning the daughter of the judge who would send Molly's father to prison. The girls' lives come together as young women at eighteen as Florence leaves the security of the exclusive Girls Select School, and Molly, now orphaned, begins her life free from reform school. Norma Shearer plays both young women, but the apparent differences in their worldliness will also make them most unfamiliar in appearance. Molly's new world consists of nights at Kelly's Dance Hall and her ever-present worshiper, Chunky Dunn. On one of her nightly dance hall outing's Molly meets David Page, an up and coming inventor, whom she quickly falls in love with. Molly persuades David to seek an honest buyer for his new safe-cracking device; against the advice of Chunky whose shadier side see's this as an opportunity for himself, and to corrupt David in the ... Written by
Very watchable silent film with Norma Shearer in dual role...
TCM is showing a very crisp print of LADY OF THE NIGHT, tinted throughout in shades of blue, yellow, orange, sepia, etc. and giving it a more interesting look than most of the B&W films of that era. It's accompanied by a very perky score by Jon Mirsalis that captures the feel of the story with style.
NORMA SHEARER has the chance to play two roles, a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a rich society girl--with both of them in love with leading man MALCOM McGREGOR. The stories are blended because the poor girl is the daughter of a criminal sentenced to life in prison and the rich girl is the daughter of the judge who sentenced him.
Camera work is marvelous in scenes where Shearer acts with herself, technically excellent in the manner the actress is photographed for the dual scenes. Particularly clever is the use of tinted photography to make the story more vivid.
For Shearer fans, this is a must see since this is really a minor gem in her career. She's equally convincing as Molly, the gum-chewing gal who knows she's not respectable enough to win the love of the inventor she has helped, and the quiet and thoughtful rich girl who realizes that poor Molly really has first claim on McGregor's heart.
The ending manages to be a mixture of sadness and brightness, a satisfying conclusion to an interesting and poignant tale about the whims of true love when it comes to wealth and poverty.
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