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The Easiest Way (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 7 February 1931 (USA)
Growing up in a poor working-class family, Laura decides not to marry the boy-next-door and instead accepts wealthy, older Will Brockton's invitation to move in with him. After falling in ... See full summary »

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(adaptation), (play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
William Brockton
...
Jack Madison
...
Peg
...
Elfie
...
Ben
...
Agnes
...
Nick
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Storyline

Growing up in a poor working-class family, Laura decides not to marry the boy-next-door and instead accepts wealthy, older Will Brockton's invitation to move in with him. After falling in love with young up-and-coming newsman Jack Madison she leaves Brockton to wait for Madison's return from a long assignment. She runs out of money and becomes desperate, returning again to Brockton who, upon learning of Madison's sudden arrival, tells Laura she must inform Madison of her living situation or he will. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

7 February 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Fácil  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play opened in New York on 19 December 1909. See more »

Goofs

When Constance Bennett visits Anita Page and has the child sat on her lap, the fur stole she is wearing drops off of her shoulder; it remains off of her shoulder in distance shots yet miraculously reappears in every close-up. See more »

Quotes

William Brockton: You've tasted luxury, my dear. And that's worst than drugs.
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Connections

Edited from The Crowd (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Played as background music at Christmas time
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User Reviews

The easiest way can make loving someone the hardest.
1 September 2005 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

The shopgirl-turned-clotheshorse concept was a staple of 1920's a 30's films, with Joan Crawford wringing quite a bit of success out of the formula. Here, Bennett gives it a go in a story that was based on a 1909 stage play. She portrays the eldest of five children living with their parents in a squalid, cramped New York tenement. The father resists working while the mother barely manages to wrangle the kids and put supper on the table. Bennett toils behind the tie counter at a department store until one day she gets the opportunity to pose as a model for advertising artists. She doesn't stop with this modest success and proceeds to hook up with the boss (Menjou), who fixes her up with a fancy apartment and all the jewels and furs she can handle. During this, she aids her family as well, though a few of them reject her for the way she earns her keep. On an extended visit to Colorado, she happens upon handsome young writer Montgomery and quickly falls for him. She decides to give up her lavish "kept" lifestyle and return to work while he is away on assignment, knowing he will be back for her to marry him. But can she take that step backwards? Bennett, one of the highest paid and most popular stars of the era presents an appealing and attractive persona (check out that waist!) She knows that what she's doing is "wrong", yet circumstances seem to prevent her from doing otherwise unless she wants to exist in poverty. Menjou is assured and manipulative in his role. Montgomery is quite fresh and likable for the better part of his screen time. Page appears to great advantage as Bennett's far earthier sister who winds up wed to Gable in one of his very earliest roles. He's handsome though his character is a little self-righteous. Rambeau makes an impression as one of Bennett's sidekicks in the modeling biz who also reaches for the top in the mistress game. Virtually all of the cast members give vivid performances. The opening sequences in the rundown apartment are quite fascinating in their snappy dialogue and depiction of the hard times. Today's audiences will be able to see through the predictable plotting, but the film still holds interest. Though the Hays Office is sometimes blamed for tampering with the material, the 1917 silent version had at least as downbeat an ending as this one does. In fact, if the story were to end any other way than it does, there'd be very little point to it all!


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