Maggie, a headlining comedienne with the Follies, takes a fall off the stage into the orchestra pit and lands on the drum of musician Al Cassidy. One thing leads to another, they fall in ... See full summary »
Helen and Ken are a pretty strange couple. She is a pathological liar, and he is a scrupulously honest (and therefore unsuccessful) lawyer. Helen starts a new job, and when her employer is ... 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
A dream sequence, which no longer survives, running 42 feet in Reel #4, was filmed in 2-color Technicolor. See more »
Near the end of the film, Molly is in her bedroom, sitting in front of her dressing table, imagining what it would be like to travel out west with Chunky. There are two close-ups where the elaborate feathers in her hat are on the left side of her head, while they are on the right side of her head in all other shots. See more »
Before he is taken away in handcuffs, a father says farewell to his newborn baby girl. The unfortunate man is sentenced to 20 years in the penitentiary, by a judge who also has a newborn baby girl. The convict's baby grows up in poverty; the judge's daughter grows up wealthy. Eighteen years later, pretty débutante Norma Shearer (as Florence Banning) graduates from an exclusive finishing school. In a dual role, attractive delinquent Norma Shearer (as Molly Helmer) graduates from a girls' reform school. The central role Ms. Shearer plays in "Lady of the Night" is the latter one - "Molly" the lower class young woman...
"Molly" dates underworld pipsqueak George K. Arthur (as "Chunky" Dunn). She wears a feathered hat that looks like it would strike you blind if Shearer turned her head suddenly. She receives some unwanted attention from a sleazy man. A very handsome young inventor, Malcolm McGregor (as David "Dave" Page), intervenes and saves Shearer. She is smitten. He is interested as well, but Mr. McGregor later meets Shearer's "Florence" - and they begin to date. This makes "Molly" sad. She will have to either fight for Mr. McGregor or let him find happiness with "Florence" the more socially suitable mate...
In 2006, "Lady of the Night" was been beautifully restored for broadcast on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). This version runs 61 minutes, which suggests at least one reel's worth of running time is missing. Still, the film plays beautifully. It's possible that something implying prostitution was cut as the title "Lady of the Night" suggests this - but there is no explicit evidence in the feature. Jon Mirsalis' new musical score is marvelous, accompanying the visuals without being obvious. Shearer and director Monta Bell work wonderfully together. One of the most poetic scenes is Mr. Arthur's attempt to touch a ray of light, arriving via a hole in Shearer's window shade...
Watch for a very brief glimpse of Joan Crawford's profile in the scene where Shearer hugs Shearer. Soon to join Shearer as an MGM super-star, Ms. Crawford served as body double, due to the star playing two roles. There aren't a lot of scenes involving Shearer and Crawford. Due to the feature film's short running time, it's possible some missing footage involved the two actresses. It's also possible some unknown connection between "Molly" and "Florence" was intended; in the present version, there is no connection made and their resemblance is not noted. Nice to see Kellogg's frosted corn flakes, too. If you aren't sure about "silent" feature films, this is an appealing taste.
******** Lady of the Night (2/23/25) Monta Bell ~ Norma Shearer, Malcolm McGregor, George K. Arthur, Joan Crawford
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