6.3/10
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2 user 1 critic

The Midnight Lady (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 15 May 1932 (USA)
(1932 Chesterfield) - John Darrow, Sarah Padden, Montagu Love, Claudia Dell. This is kind of a poverty row version of Madame X. Padden owns a notorious big-city speakeasy. When her long ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Sarah Padden ...
Nita St. George
John Darrow ...
Bert
...
Jean Austin
...
Byron Crosby (as Theodor von Eltz)
Montagu Love ...
Harvey Austin
Lucy Beaumont ...
Grandma Austin
...
Mona Sebastian
Donald Keith ...
Don Austin
Brandon Hurst ...
District Attorney
Wayne Lamont ...
Tony (as B. Wayne Lamont)
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Storyline

(1932 Chesterfield) - John Darrow, Sarah Padden, Montagu Love, Claudia Dell. This is kind of a poverty row version of Madame X. Padden owns a notorious big-city speakeasy. When her long lost daughter is accused of murder, she decides to take the rap for her. The daughter has no idea that her mother is even alive. A pretty good Chesterfield. 16mm.

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed
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Release Date:

15 May 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

That Notorious Woman  »

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(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

One nitrate reel of this film (reel 4) survives in the UCLA Film and television archives and it is not listed for preservation. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who Would Have Thought - Sarah Padden as a Night Club Hostess!!!
1 January 2015 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Sarah Padden, usually right at home with cooks, widows and schoolteachers, is given a chance to strut her stuff as Nita St. George, a Texas Guinan type hostess who can tell dodgy liquor from the smell of the bottle. And the novelty is good for a few minutes but it is all down to Lina Basquette as a wronged woman to give the film a much needed kick. The only problem is she is only in the film for 10 minutes at the most. Always a big problem is when the main character, in this case Claudia Dell, is totally unsympathetic. It wasn't her fault, her Jean is flighty, almost the last of the flappers and with the depression in full swing you couldn't really laugh at her little indiscretions - like you could with Clara Bow a few years earlier.

She is stringing along Byron Crosby (Theodore von Eltz), an artist with a wandering eye for the ladies - but one of his loves, exotic and fiery Mona (Basquette) has had as much as she can take. Meanwhile Jean's patient, long suffering boyfriend Bert (John Darrow) gets involved in a scuffle at Nita's night club. She urges Bert to bring Jean along one night and from photos adorning her dressing table, it is not hard to see why Nita wants to get to know her better. Jean is having her own problems at home - she is like a square peg in a round hole as she constantly butts heads with her always carping grandmother and stern father (Montagu Love). The phase "you're just like your mother" is used so many times - Jean wishes she knew her mother!!

One night Byron is entertaining Jean when he is called out of the room, Jean investigates, sees he has been killed and flees the scene but not before she notices Nita in the lobby. The fact that the trial is over and Nita is serving a term for manslaughter before Jean confesses that she knows for sure that Nita is not the killer doesn't exactly warm the viewer to her either. To give Jean her due it is her visits to Nita in prison that give her a newer, more wholesome outlook on life - she even makes Nita candy!! She also goes to Mona's to have it out with her and from then on (about 8 minutes) Basquette is centre stage for the dramatics!!

Poor Claudia Dell had the looks and personality to go a long way in movies but even though in 1930 she was lovely in "Sweet Kitty Bellairs", people were staying away from musicals in droves and by 1931 she was a fixture on poverty row. John Darrow never really made the grade and Donald Keith who played Jean's sympathetic brother had started out in films playing Clara Bow's love struck boyfriend in "The Plastic Age"(1925).


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