A British nobleman, John, falls in love with famous actress, Elsie, and forces the marriage issue by publishing their engagement. He then plans to take her to his father's estate to meet his relatives. His father, Lord Crayle, has summoned the immediate family to discuss how to prevent John from marrying beneath his station. When they meet Elsie, they are all shocked she is a commoner except cousin Edward, whose opinion is discounted, since he is involved with a married woman in Paris. After being queried, Elsie senses the meeting is senseless and starts to leave, but Edward persuades her not to accept defeat. Meanwhile, Elsie's father arrives and, although derided as a commoner by the family, agrees with them that the marriage is a mistake. He says that Elsie has only agreed to marry John because of the published engagement, and that she's not in love with him at all: she had turned him down twice a day for a year. He suggests that the family ask Elsie to wait six months, and to ... Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I watched this film, Lady of Scandal, because I had never seen Ruth Chatterton in a film, and I'm very glad I saw it. There was very witty dialogue, some funny scenes, and some tender moments peppered throughout this movie, which was based on a play. The beginning was a riot, as Chatterton, while performing on stage, dances herself over to the wings and hands her fiancée a letter from his family. "Your family is horrid!" she exclaims while doing her high kicks. The dialogue between Chatterton's prospective parents-in-law is especially funny.
It's fascinating to see Basil Rathbone in his pre-Sherlock Holmes days. He was Margaret Mitchell's idea of Rhett Butler, she told a reporter, and it's perhaps a little bit easier to see why in these early films. But it's obvious that when Mitchell wrote her famous book, she envisioned her characters somewhat differently and from another perspective. Rathbone could have been a dashing southern gentleman but the ruggedness and sexiness would have been lost.
Chatterton was a charming performer with a wide range, as exhibited in this film. She could do the theatrical diva, as well as comedy and pathos. I look forward to seeing more of her films.
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