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 <email@example.com>
This early talkie features Ruth Chatterton playing Elsie Hilary, a British actress who is engaged to a man from a snobbish rich family. Everyone in the family objects to her "nature" except for Edward (Basil Rathbone) who finds himself falling for her. THE LADY OF SCANDAL remains somewhat watchable due to its fun leads but the sad reality is that this is just another early talkie with way too much talking. You know, I truly understand that in the early days of sound people wanted to hear people talk. I do wonder what they truly felt about these movies back then but when you view them today you pretty much just shake your head because of all the dialogue. I mean, to simply tell someone who want to go out and eat takes about ten pages of dialogue because everything just gets so drawn out. This non-stop talking is what really damages this film and keeps it from being more entertaining. What does keep the film at least watchable is the performance of Chatterton who comes across incredibly delightful. She comes out doing a chorus dance and singing a song, which was pretty funny and I liked the way she handled each of the family members who are against her. I've often been very critical of Rathbone's early work but I was shocked to see that he too was rather good here. The supporting cast of character do fine work as well with each of them fitting their roles. Of course, even with all the dialogue the writers weren't able to come up with a way to keep the viewers on the edge of their seats. There's never a bit of suspense as to what's going to happen and the ending is something you'll see coming from a mile away.
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