Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Marion is a factory worker who hopes to trade the assembly line, for a beautiful penthouse apartment. Mark Whitney, a wealthy and influential lawyer can make her dreams come true, but there is only one problem, he will give her everything but a marriage proposal. Will this affair ever lead to marriage? Written by
Rather great stuff, if you can find a watchable copy...natural and warm
A wonderful Joan Crawford film not to be confused with her second, completely unrelated, also wonderful movie of the same title (yes) from 1947. This one, to be sure, also stars Clark Gable, and it dates from the years when Gable and Crawford had an intermittent, steamy affair. The chemistry is good, the filming excellent (and sometimes breathtaking), and the overall story a lively pre-code, Depression-era tale of succeeding.
But success at what cost? That's the key. You love Crawford's rise, and her methods are sincere even if not as sweet and homespun as the first scene would imply. It's not that she's corrupted, but that she discovers the excitement of the big city, and the truth that there really is sincerity there as much as in the little town she came from.
Gable represents every girl's dream, of course. He's suave, warm, funny. And rich. Their interactions are natural throughout, and the pace lively (as most of the famous pre-Code films are).
The filming is excellent, including a somewhat famous long take of Crawford, near the beginning, watching a train slowly amble by as a parade of different scenes unfolds through each window. It's worth seeing just for that scene alone (if you like great cinematography, and the aura of old Hollywood).
Clarence Brown is the uncredited (!) director here, and he's terrific. See "A Free Soul" made at the same time for another (even better) film showing off his ability to make dialogs crisp and true. (He's more famous for his many movies with Garbo, but he did a slew with Crawford.)
If you think there is a predictability here, you're going to be partly wrong. See this one, not because it's a classic, but because it's very very good, and forgotten. You will have trouble finding a good version, however. The one I found was on iTunes and it was so terrible (harsh tones, highlights so washed out you couldn't see their faces in many scenes) I don't recommend it. (I wrote to complain and got a quick refund, an apology, and a promise to look into it. I don't know if that fixed the problem, however, in Spring 2014.) Anyway, find a good copy somehow. Do it.
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