Nora Ryan, a poor Irish girl, living in New York decides to change her life by working as a personal maid for the wealthy, Gary family. The Gary family fear Grandpa Gary Gary, a copper ... See full summary »


, (novel)


Cast overview:
Peter Shea
Dick Gary
Mrs. Otis Gary
Gary Gary
Ernest Lawford ...
Charlotte Wynters ...
Gwen Gary
Ma Ryan
Pa Ryan
Clara Langsner ...
Mrs. Wurtz
Terry Carroll ...
Anna Ryan
Ronnee Madsen ...
Personal Maid


Nora Ryan, a poor Irish girl, living in New York decides to change her life by working as a personal maid for the wealthy, Gary family. The Gary family fear Grandpa Gary Gary, a copper magnate, for he controls the family fortune. Mrs. Otis Gary, hearing that her son, Dick Gary has been expelled from college, sends Nora to meet Dick at the train station and escort him to his aunt's in Virginia. Dick flirts with Nora. Nora is repulsed, but finds him irresistible. Dick tries to con Nora out of the money his mother gave her. Nora, returns to the Gary home in New York to report the incident to Grandpa Gary. Dick, being Grandpa Gary's favorite dismisses the incident and gives Nora money for her troubles. Nora leaves the Gary's and moves into a lavish hotel under a different name. She meets, Peter Shea, Grandpa Gary's business manager, and they date. Grandpa knowing that Dick is in love with Nora and Nora with Dick, breaks them up. The problem is that Dick believed Nora is in love with Peter... Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

12 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Criada de Confiança  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

Not Nancy's Most Shining Moment!!
20 December 2016 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Nancy Carroll's career was going along just swimmingly, she had been voted "Queen of the Screen" in 1930, sure she was temperamental but so far her fans were oblivious to it!! Then came "Night Angel" and it was all down hill from there. As far as the critics went, director Edmund Goulding was to blame for trying to be a Von Sternberg but Paramount also pointed the finger at Nancy and even though Frederic March was panned by all as well, he came through unscathed!! Now that Nancy's work has been reappraised it's clear she made some of her better films in this doldrum period - "Hot Saturday", "The Kiss Before the Mirror", it didn't matter back then - the knives were out for Nancy. Only with "Child of Manhattan" did critics feel the old Nancy was back but by then it was too late for her career.

"Personal Maid" was the movie she made directly after "Night Angel" so reviewers were looking for faults but with Monta Bell as director, supervision by Lothar Mendes and camera work by Karl Freund, the production was at least stylish!! In an interesting beginning, the grocery delivery boy puts goods in a dumb waiter and as the device is pulled up there is a fly on the wall slice of life camera peeking into the various slum families.

"The only way men would take off their hats to your wife is if she was draped in the American flag"!! is just some of the choice conversation flying around the Ryan dinner table - and feisty Nora is sick of it. She decides to apply for a "personal maid" post - she wants to see how the other half live and also feels it would be a step up from tenement life. (Nancy's real life sister Terry plays the tiny part of Nora's sister at the start)!! The film was sailing along with nice characterizations by Mary Boland, Charlotte Winters and George Fawcett as the crusty old patriarch who despairs of his shallow self serving family. In fact when Pat O'Brien appears as the self made man who is friendly with the Gary family, there seems to be the beginnings of a social theme along the lines of Warners. But something goes wrong when Gene Raymond appears - he plays gad about collegian Dick Gary who when his mother realises he has been expelled sends Nora to meet the train and take him out of town so his appearance won't be noted by patriarch Gary Gary and their inheritance chances won't be scotched!! Nora who has been so sensible falls for the shallow Dick, this in spite of the fact that when they meet in the train he tries pretty dramatic cave man tactics, enough to make Nora afraid. He lures her to bed and in a very gritty pre-code scene she finds that in the morning (after a fade out of kisses) he has gone, along with the spending money she had kept under her pillow!! What is more, Shea (O'Brien) is exposed as a snob and an opportunist. Distant to Nora, he meets her again under different circumstances. She is fed up with the whole awful family and decides to take a week's holiday and pose as a wealthy heiress, Shea, who can't remember the old Nora is captivated by the mysterious "Eleanor Page"!! Of course when he meets her again he feels betrayed but still wants to set her up in a Park Avenue apartment - being only a maid, he feels she will grab the opportunity - but will she??

Mary Boland came in for most of the praise and it was a pity that her character wasn't given more to do. It was also thought that both Mendes and Bell didn't capitalize on their dazzling star and what was needed was a better story and stronger characterizations!!

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