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Malcolm St. Clair
Johnny Mack Brown,
Valentine Winters goes to Paris to meet the divorced mother she has never known. She becomes involved with dissipated Tony and when their car rolls over is saved by Harvard footballer Bob. When Bob brings his parents to meet her, Tony comes in drunk and Valentine's mother is revealed to have been for five years the mistress of wealthy Andre. Bob's parents leaves in disgust, but love conquers all. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A good example of what MGM did so well in the early 30's...
...plus it's a good vehicle for Joan Crawford and, for that matter, the rest of the cast too. This is an example of an MGM precode society drama in which the sin of being too virtuous seems to be the central theme.
The story opens with Di Winter (Pauline Frederick) planning a trip with her married lover, André de Graignon (Albert Conti). Di had divorced her husband years ago, apparently was judged an unfit character by the court, and had her daughter taken from her and not even allowed visitation. Di then moves to France, and eventually becomes the long time mistress of the wealthy Andre. Andre, in return, furnishes her with a lovely house and clothes to match, servants, and in general a very luxurious lifestyle. Out of the blue, Di gets a letter notifying her that her long lost daughter Val (Joan Crawford) is on her way for a visit. Val turns out to be a good mixture of mom and dad - she has mom's fun loving ways balanced with dad's moral compass.
Val lacks experience with the kind of people her mother rubs elbows with and the high life in general, since she has lived a rather sheltered life. She finds two suitors. Tony is a free spirit who takes everyone as they are with no judgment, but he has no use for marriage. Bob is a more conventional sort and the marrying kind whose parents' ancestors not only came over on the Mayflower, either one of them could easily be confused with Plymouth Rock itself. They are that stuffy and very judgmental. Which suitor and accompanying lifestyle will Val ultimately choose? On top of that Di has lied to her daughter about who exactly owns her house and where her money comes from. To make matters worse Andre is getting tired of paying Di's bills and getting no bang for his buck since daughter Val moved in. All of this together makes for good drama indeed and a great showcase for the talents of all concerned. Plus it was good to see an older woman (Miss Frederick) playing an attractive woman and an object of desire. That's something you'd never see in a popular film today and that's the reason that great actresses with 50 year careers like that of Joan Crawford are likely to remain forever in the past.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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