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Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
To both cash in on the success of Joan Crawford's first big success Our Dancing Daughters and her first marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., MGM did Our Modern Maidens. The film came out just as the movie going public was realizing that sound was not a passing fad.
Our Modern Maidens had some sound effects overlaid into the film. We hear some laughter, a radio broadcast, other kinds of sound thrown in more as a gimmick than anything else. Still it was more to exploit than anything else.
The story concerns a group of young and wealthy party-goers, drinking bootleg hooch and dancing the Charleston like there would be no tomorrow. Leading the pack is Joan Crawford who's got her eye on Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. a young man looking to go into the diplomatic service and a post in Paris would be ideal. I mean if you're going to be a diplomat at least go to a place that's known as a party town.
Anita Page also has her eyes on Fairbanks and the older Rod LaRocque has his eyes on Crawford. It's the standard four sided triangle with Crawford working her wiles on LaRocque to use his influence for Fairbanks. In the meantime Page is expecting a blessed event courtesy of Fairbanks.
If Our Modern Maidens were made today any number of different endings are possible. In the Roaring Twenties though certain mores still held sway. I'll let you see the film to see how it all shakes out.
Fairbanks was borrowed from Warner Brothers for this film specifically for exploiting the publicity value surrounding his and Crawford's first marriages. They did give him a marvelous bit at a party scene where he gets to do imitations of John Barrymore, John Gilbert, and his father. Of course the imitation of Fairbanks, Sr. as Robin Hood was dead on.
Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed were just starting their careers as MGM's official songwriting team. One of their early successes Should I serves as the theme for Our Modern Maidens. Another song heard throughout the film is the Buddy DeSylva-Lew Brown-Ray Henderson hit My Sin is played whenever the action focuses on Page.
Our Modern Maidens is not a great film for any of the cast involved. But it is a great example of how the studios were hurriedly making the transition to sound.
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