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Blondie, a New York tenement dweller, and Lurlene are best friends. When Lurlene makes the cast of a big Broadway show, she arranges for Blondie to join the cast as well. But the friendship goes awry when Lurlene's sweetheart, wealthy Larry Belmont, catches Blondie's act and falls for the fair-haired newcomer. Though she is attracted to Larry as well, Blondie spurns his attentions out of loyalty to her friend. But the attraction proves to be stronger than any of them could have imagined. Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One hour into the film, Marion Davies (Blondie) addresses Billy Dove's character as "Lurlene Callabash". In later years Jimmy Durante would often close his TV, radio and nightclub appearances with "Goodnight Mrs. Callabash, wherever you are". See more »
Marion Davies stars in this poignant MGM drama, directed by Edmund Goulding, which features excellent performances but is relentlessly downbeat. Writers Frances Marion & Anita Loos, two of the very best, really drag their characters through the Slough of Despond, piling emotional outburst upon painful heartache almost without relief.
The writers also give Miss Davies a most curious scenario: that of a lively, vivacious showgirl, not very good at holding her liquor, who, as the mistress of a wealthy, older tycoon, is settled into a life of luxury. Sound familiar? As the girlfriend of William Randolph Hearst, the nation's most powerful media mogul, and the chatelaine of San Simeon, America's most lavish private estate, Davies must have noted, and been amused by, the script's odd similarities to her own life.
Billie Dove gives a fine performance as Davies' oldest friend and bitterest rival, an insecure woman consumed by jealousy. Suave Robert Montgomery plays the object of both ladies' affections and he is both polished and sophisticated. James Gleason steals a few scenes as Davies' loving, work-weakened father.
The incomparable ZaSu Pitts shines in the small role of Davies' no-nonsense older sister. Sidney Toler (a future Charlie Chan) is her affable, lazy husband. Sinister Douglass Dumbrille plays a lecherous tycoon who likes blondes.
Jimmy Durante appears very late in the film and then only in one scene, essentially playing himself as a guest at a Davies party. His lowbrow humor is a wonderful tension reliever, especially during the few moments he and Davies spoof John Barrymore & Garbo in GRAND HOTEL, which Goulding had directed earlier that same year. It's a shame Durante doesn't get to interact with Miss Pitts, but just having him around for five minutes is a real spirit lifter.
Movie mavens will recognize Charles Williams & Billy Gilbert, both uncredited, as the sleazy producers who entice Miss Dove in the film's opening scene.
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