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The Easiest Way (1931)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  7 February 1931 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 293 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 4 critic

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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Title: The Easiest Way (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
William Brockton
...
Jack Madison
...
Peg
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Elfie
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Ben
Clara Blandick ...
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:

Language:

Release Date:

7 February 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Fácil  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

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 »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Quand on est belle (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played as background music at Christmas time
See more »

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User Reviews

 
1931 The Movie
2 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The initial sequences of this film, and indeed a good portion of it otherwise, are arranged in such a way that truly evokes the environment of the time period, with the beginning shots capturing the squalorous destitution of the family home, and the amusing shot in particular of the family eating breakfast while the camera remains idle, focusing on their activity-- that's the type of stuff which I love. As others have stated; as the year implies; as I no doubt need to mention-- this is a Pre-Code film. Unlike films made later in this very same decade that have been rigorously codified and placed into the upper echelons of Golden Age fantasy and whimsy, this is one of those films that truly captures the gritty reality of the Great Depression, and which keeps all the trimmings in the process. What I find most interesting about this films is indeed the reality which they offer, which is something that goes to foreshadow the development of the sitcom; and indeed to watch a Pre-Code is exactly like to watch a modern sitcom (or at least one of the more classic sitcoms before that genre itself became overdone).

At any rate, this film in particular really caused me to question the cultural in the given period of time; Art, after all, is a habit which reflects the mindset and mores of a given place, and therefore I'm brought to wonder concerning how much women of 1931 could relate to those in this film. To what extent is the normal woman living in destitution, blessed perhaps with supreme feminine charm, faced with such conflicts as are portrayed in this film-- I mean of course in 1931. Surely what the overwhelming majority of these Pre-Code films leads me to understand is that showbusiness and all other methods in which the female body can be exploited for a profit are things which women of this time are flocking to, at the expense of what is held to be traditional morality. Though with Art being a lens into a period of time, as above mentioned, I continued throughout this film to wonder as to how widespread the morality-for-riches tradeoff occurred actually.

As far as a take-away message goes, this film in my opinion posits the existence of two classes-- one exuberantly rich, and one exorbitantly poor; conflict occurs, the film says, when people don't mind their class, and by this I mean that if the poor and destitute remained poor and destitute yet endured their struggle, they will find their due happiness in time. Similarly, if the rich abide by their own class, herein represented by Adolphe Menjou's character, then they too will find their due pleasure in life. Menjou always in my viewings perpetuates the same character: he is rich and sophisticated yet takes an interest in the exact type of woman that can never love him. Therefore, to betray your own class is akin to masochism: let the rich inhabit a romance with the rich, and the poor with the poor, for love cannot exist in any way befitting if these lines are crossed.

I have not at all provided a synopsis of this film, since it is well documented by others and on websites, yet I have not rated its quality: to that end, to wit, this is a wonderful Pre-Code film enshrouded in MGM's spectacular production films, with a visual sheen and gloss that is pleasing to the eye. I encourage all with an interest for this period, or any of the factors above mentioned, to view it.


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