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Marianne falls in love with con man Valentine who uses their relation to get her father's endorsement on a money-raising scheme. He runs off with the money and Marianne, later dumping her. Her sister Laura loves Dr. Lindley although she knows he loves Marianne. Marianne returns and marries a wealthy young man, and Lindley turns his love toward Laura. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
How often do you see Conrad Nagel and Sidney Fox billed above Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis? Probably just this one time, and at Universal of all places. You know someone is trouble (Sidney Fox as Marianne) when she sleeps in a bed surrounded by pictures of herself. Marianne is nasty to the servant Minnie, played to perfection by the marvelous ZaSu Pitts, manipulates her father, and uses men like they are a collective escalator. "Good sister" Laura (Bette Davis) is in love with one of Marianne's beaus (Conrad Nagel as Dr. Dick Lindley), although she keeps it to herself and her diary. Then there is the pesky baby brother who, as it turns out, does have a heart and a conscience in spite of his trouble-making ways, but frankly, I would have shipped him off to military school if I had the funds. Charles Winninger and Emma Dunn round out the cast as Mr. and Mrs. Madison, the parents of this unruly brood. This film has all the earmarks of being your standard family melodrama...and then HE pulls into town - Humphrey Bogart as Valentine Corliss. He has come to town to start a factory, pushes hard for Pa Madison to help him with his venture and get his friends to invest in the venture as well, and sweeps Marianne off her feet with his man-of-the world ways. I'll let you watch and see how this all pans out.
All I can say is wow, could Universal have made Bette Davis look any more unappealing? She spends the entire film dressed up like she was in the first half hour of "Now Voyager" minus the weight problem and minus ten years. Her hair is in an unattractive bun, she has on no make-up, she wears loose fitting matronly dresses, and the only way they could have made it worse is to put sunglasses on those beautiful trademark saucer eyes of hers.
I'd highly recommend this one, not so much for a plot that is different, but to see some great performances by two stars that didn't have long in the limelight (Nagel and Fox), and see two of Warner Brothers' biggest stars in the most unlikely of places and roles.
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