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
With very simple, touching and understated performances for a silent film, this is an interesting exploration of women's roles in the 1920s.
A 4 way love tangle ensues as two outwardly very different woman (both played very well by Norma Shearer) try to find love and meaning in life. One is a pampered rich girl, one is a tough, semi-prostitute who grew up in reform school.
But by having Shearer play both women, the film concisely and visually makes the point that they are more alike in their humanity, than different in their outward styles.
Basically a bittersweet melodrama, this rises to well above average on it's intelligence, elegant visual style and acting.
On the other hand, lot of people see this as a flat out masterpiece, but it didn't have that kind of deep effect on me, at least on first viewing. But I'll be curious to see it again.
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