Wealthy socialite Letty Lynton is returning to New York, abandoning one-tine lover Emile Renaul in South America, when she strikes up a shipboard romance with Jerry Darrow. Renault is ... See full summary »
Wealthy socialite Letty Lynton is returning to New York, abandoning one-tine lover Emile Renaul in South America, when she strikes up a shipboard romance with Jerry Darrow. Renault is waiting for her in New York and will not leave her alone, so she poisons him. When detectives take her to the D.A.s office, Jerry cooks up an alibi. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film has been unavailable since a Federal court ruled on 17 January 1936 that the script used by MGM too closely followed the play "Dishonored Lady" by Edward Sheldon and Margaret Ayer Barnes without acquiring the rights to this play or giving credit. The U.S. copyright of the play will expire in 2025. See more »
... unlike so many lost or unavailable films. The plot initially seems not so unusual, especially for a Joan Crawford MGM vehicle of the 1930's. Joan plays a fabulously wealthy playgirl living in South America who decides to return home for a multitude of reasons - she wants to turn over a new leaf, she wants to make up with the mother (May Robson) who has been pushing her away all her life, but most of all she wants to get out of the grasp of a possessive lover (Nils Asther) that is smothering her and objectifying her to the point that she is frightened. She takes a ship home to New York, and on the way there falls in love with the charming heir Hale Darrow (Robert Montgomery). The two become engaged with the press waiting to snap their pictures as the boat docks, but as the picture is snapped, what does Letty see but the possessive lover she thought she left in South America, literally licking his chops for her and waiting for her to land.
Young Darrow knows nothing of Letty's past, Letty's mom still wants nothing to do with her, and as for her old lover, he's demanding she continue the affair or else he will publicize some torrid love letters she wrote. How does this all turn out? Quite unexpectedly, I'll tell you that much and I'll also tell you, thank goodness for precode where justice in the movies - as in life - didn't always have the predictable nature of a form letter like it did after 1934.
MGM threw its A-list talent at this one including Joan's gowns by Adrian, Lewis Stone with a short but important part at the end, and some first class character actors. The only thing that doesn't ring quite true is May Robson as Joan's mother. Robson's acting and characterization are perfect, but she was almost 50 years older than Joan, looks it, and it just doesn't seem plausible that they could be mother and daughter with that age difference staring you in the face. Still it's a minor quibble and I'd highly recommend watching it if you ever get the opportunity.
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