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There is a big charity function at the house of Mrs. Cheyney and a lot of society is present. With her rich husband, deceased, rich old Lord Elton and playboy Lord Arthur Dilling are both very interested in the mysterious Fay. Invited to the house of Mrs. Webley, Fay is again the center of attention for Arthur and Elton with her leaning towards stuffy old Elton. When Arthur sees Charles, Fay's Butler, lurking in the gardens, he remembers that Charles was a thief caught in Monte Carlo and he figures that Fay may be more interested in the pearls of Mrs. Webley, which she is. After Fay takes the pearls, but before she can toss them out the window, she is caught by Arthur who is very disappointed in how things are turning out. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
I realize that this is a minority view, but I find the later version from the late Thirties of The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney superior to this one. I'm sure brickbats will follow.
This is not choosing Joan Crawford over Norma Shearer's performance here. It's a question of the technical advancements made over a decade to a film that was one of MGM's first all talkie productions. This version quite frankly is a photographed stage play.
The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney is a play not often revived I'm sure as it belongs to an era of fluff. Shearer is a con woman with a small entourage who pretends to be a wealthy widow from Australia. Actually she gets herself invited to the best homes in London, the better to scope them out for robberies which butler George Barraud does.
However when at one party Shearer arouses the interest of Lord Basil Rathbone it's on several levels. He's smitten with her, but he knows something's afoot since he recognizes Barraud as a thief previously arrested. After that it's a game of cat and mouse.
For reasons I can't explain The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney got a nomination for 'writing achievement' as it was phrased then. As this was just a photographed version of Frederick Lonsdale's play, then what was the achievement?
The film is the second sound film for Norma Shearer and it was Basil Rathbone's debut in talkies. It has some witty dialog, but in the end it's entertaining fluff.
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