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Chorus girl Jill and composer Fred are happily married until he steps out on her with another woman. Tired of his ongoing alcoholism and heartbroken, Jill decides to leave him and live it up, though she must contend with the unwanted advances of a notorious gangster who will stop at nothing to make her his mistress. And when she considers taking Fred back, matters could get deadly fast. Written by
John Wray (as Joe Prividi) was the only featured member of the original Broadway cast to reprise his role in the movie. See more »
Before putting a pot of coffee on the stove, Jill uses a wooden match to light the burner, while never once looking at the match. She shakes the match to put it out, but it flares up again as she drops it on top of a cabinet next to the stove. She then puts the coffee pot on the burner and walks off camera to look out the window. See more »
[Norma Talmadge's first line of spoken dialogue on film - said down a dumbwaiter shaft to who she thinks is the iceman]
Twenty-five pounds. And don't give my chunk a twice-over shave.
[said up the dumbwaiter shaft after sending up a stolen box of flowers with a note for her birthday]
Good morning, Jill.
Good morning, Mr. Prividi.
Mrs. Deverne, as I wished ya' wasn't.
You stop this silly flower business! Do you hear me?
Why? It's your boithday, ain' it, huh?
Well, who told you to celebrate it?
[...] See more »
One of two Norma Talmadge talkies to have survived - she retired forever from the screen after making only three (the fun had gone out of film making for her) - this is a slowly paced, gritty underworld drama but the plot is ultimately quite unconvincing.
Joe Prividi (John Wray) is a mobster who also happens to be backing a Broadway show. He has the hots for his leading lady, Jill Deverne (Talmadge), who only has eyes for her song-writer husband, Fred (Gilbert Roland). Prividi engineers a chorus girl into Fred's drunken arms at a speakeasy one night and arranges for a raid. Jill won't believe her husband to be innocent and she dumps him. Months later she is Prividi's mistress and after a shooting during a party is taken along with Prividi to the police station. There she discovers her husband, a down and out tramp without her. They patch up their differences and plan to escape New York to begin life anew, but Prividi has other plans for Fred.
Norma Talmadge reveals a natural acting style, as if she has been stage-trained. Her voice is well modulated and natural and her facial expressions are subtle. This is not a great role or showcase for her but she manages quite well and one can see no obstacles to her looking forward to a successful career in talking pictures.
Gilbert Roland is deplorably bad - he was to improve vastly in the coming years but here is thoroughly inept. John Wray plays Prividi a bit over the top but within bounds. Lilyan Tashman gives support as Peggy, Jill's friend and confidante.
The Milestone direction is plodding and stagebound - the microphone was still stationary. There is one song "A YEAR FROM TODAY" - Roland sings it quite badly but Talmadge is not bad as a crooner.
Look for Jean Harlow at the party where the shooting takes place. She is an extra and stands to the left of the screen behind the main door to the room the police enter.
An interesting curio and important for a rare glimpse of a talking Norma Talmadge.
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