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Malcolm St. Clair
Johnny Mack Brown,
Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" racket. After plotting verious ways to get back at the men who set her up initially, she softens and settles down. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Superb Crawford performance and intelligent script
Although this is clearly a play adaptation, the script is a particularly fine one and the young Crawford's performance is simply superb - this is pure actress rather than star personality. Robert Armstrong plays Joe, a good time racketeer, who takes on Mary Turner (Crawford) as a business associate, when she makes it clear she does not want to be his amour. Mary is smart - falsely sent to prison for a crime she didn't commit, she studied law while in the clink, and is now seeking revenge by using the letter of the law to get away with petty larceny. With Mary at the helm, Joe and his entourage are sailing sweetly.
Part of Mary's revenge is to seduce the son of the man who falsely accused her into marriage, which she does. But she falls for the guy at the same time- Douglass Montgomery in a strong performance that supports Crawford's every step of the way. He only has six scenes but makes the most of them. Montgomery and Crawford are an appealing couple and one wonders why they didn't make more films together.
This is one of the very best of the early talkies - don't miss it.
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