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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 295 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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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

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Played as background music in the opening scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rags to riches
17 January 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The Easiest Way" is an example of how Hollywood could deal with thorny subjects before the arrival of the Hays Code. We are presented with a situation in which a young, poor, but attractive young woman, could go up in the world using her natural charms in a realistic way. That was going to change in a few more years, as the Code would not let themes such as this one be dealt with the frankness prior to its arrival.

The film, directed by Jack Conway, is curiosity piece by today's standards. The original work was made for the stage where there was an open mind about risky situations. We are presented with a poor family at the beginning of the story living in a crowded tenement. Laura, the beautiful young girl has no future of getting a rich man that will take her away from the poverty she is living. When a rich man enters her life, she sees the opportunity to escape her humble origins.

The film deals in a realistic way with the subject of the illicit affair between Laura and Bill Brockton. When she falls for young Jack Madison, she believes that she must abandon the man that provides her comfort and easy life, until she finds herself penniless and must face with the fact that she has to go back to Bill, but loses Jack in the process. At the end, we watch her spying outside her married sister's suburban house which is the epitome of happiness.

Constance Bennett makes an interesting Laura, but this is not her best role in the movies. Robert Montgomery is not seen enough in the film. Adolph Menjou makes a great Bill Brockton, the rich man who loves Laura in spite of the fact he knows Laura doesn't care for him. Clark Gable made a good impression as the brother-in-law critical to Laura. Marjorie Rambeau, Anita Page and Hedda Haper appear in minor roles.


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