Jerry Strong is the son of a rich businessman, but wants to be a painter. He hires Kay Arnold, a good girl with a bad past, as a model. They fall in love, and plan to get married. But Jerry's parents raise strong objections. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Frank Capra's autobiographical book, he dismissed using Barbara Stanwyck when their interview went badly. Frank Fay, Stanwyck's husband at the time, called Capra up, furious over Stanwyck's having come home from the interview, crying. Capra blamed Stanwyck, saying she acted like she didn't even want the part. Fay responded, "Frank, she's young, and shy, and she's been kicked around out here. Let me show you a test she made at Warner's." (The test was for "The Noose," a broadway play Stanwyck starred in and also a film made without Stanwyck in 1928 by John Francis Dillon for First National.) Capra was so impressed that he left the screening immediately to get Harry Cohn, who ran Columbia, to sign up Stanwyck as quickly as possible. See more »
Barbara Stanwyck looked sweet and innocent, even though her character is supposed to have been around.
For someone making only her fourth movie, she was a treat to watch, and not just because of her looks. She gave a terrific performance.
Others have criticized Ralph Graves, in his twelfth year of film acting, but I thought he was marvelously realistic, giving a wonderful under-acted performance.
Jimmy Cagney said when he, and some others, came to California with their under-acting, they changed Hollywood. Graves might have been just ahead of his time.
Lowell Sherman was surely the pluperfect movie cad. In this film, too, he gave a superb performance.
Marie Prevost, though, stole the show ... well, she at least came in a close second to Stanwyck. Her brash, brassy character was funny, touching, adorable ... even if she wasn't someone a young man might want to bring home to mother.
Again there was a corny, silly telling of the story via a newspaper headline that surely could have been better told some other way; but, over all, this movie is a good story, well told and well acted, and a great look at its time in history.
By the way, a note to Yard Bird: Most likely the reason it was made in silent and sound versions was to be sure every theater could play it. At the time, not all theaters had yet converted to sound.
It was the sound version that played in May of 2009 on Turner Classic Movies. I would guess it is now available for purchase.
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