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
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The play "Ladies of the Evening" by Milton Herbert Gropper opened at the Lyceum Theatre in New York on 23 December 1924 and closed in May 1925 after 159 performances. The opening night cast included Beth Merrill as "Kay," and James Kirkwood as "Jerry Strong." The play was produced by David BelascoSee more »
Good early Barbara Stanwyck tear-jerker directed by Capra...
Considering that movies only began to talk in 1928, this early sound film starring BARBARA STANWYCK as a girl of ill repute (she calls herself a party girl), and RALPH GRAVES as an artist who wants to use her as a model, is not bad at all. It's certainly one of the better jobs in sound recording for a film made in the early '30s. As usual with films of this period, there is almost no music on the soundtrack except for the moment when "The End" is flashed on the screen. In the TCM print I watched, the screen then fades to black while some "exit" music is played against a dark screen.
Stanwyck is the prostitute with a heart of gold who finds a good man and doesn't want to let him go, even when his family objects to their union when he proposes marriage. She is convinced by the mother to give him up--but circumstances change after she makes a rash decision.
Stanwyck is excellent at conveying the brassy qualities of the character, but then reveals the softer nature of the girl as she falls in love with the man who only wants to paint her portrait. The tenderness of the romance that develops is full of nuances that one wouldn't expect from a Frank Capra film. The sentimental ending is more in keeping with his usual style.
RALPH GRAVES gives a quiet, assured performance as the man who finds that he does really love Stanwyck. LOWELL SHERMAN does his usual schtick as an inebriated friend who flounces around making wisecracks. MARIE PREVOST has some good moments as Stanwyck's roommate and NANCE O'NEIL does a good job as Grave's well-meaning mother.
Stanwyck fans will appreciate her well modulated performance.
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