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Three women who were childhood schoolmates take different paths in life. Vivian marries a very wealthy lawyer and has an adorable boy. Mary, on the other hand, takes the hard road through reform school. After a superstitious faux pas, Vivian's luck turns. She strays from her steadfast husband to a life of debauchery and alcoholism. Meanwhile, Mary turns her life around and not only wins the heart of Vivian's ex-husband, but also becomes a loving step-mother to Vivian's only child. Then Vivian's worthless boyfriend makes a desperate move. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After viewing the video version of this movie again last night, I was surprised at how most of the movie stands up today. As with many "from the headlines" movies produced by Warner Brothers and First National in the early 1930s, the pace is rapid. I prefer the latter part of the movie to the earlier scenes, which provide a lengthy prologue to the main story. It is unfortunate that the lead actress, Ann Dvorak, is almost forgotten today, for she was a beautiful and talented actress, who more often than not was more capable than the material she was given. Hers is an unusual character, but an interesting and not too hysterical performance. It's also fun to watch future stars like Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in supporting roles, as well as to savour supporting performances by Jack LaRue, Allen Jenkins and Lyle Talbot. The climax is quite remarkable, although the tacked on happy ending jars with the mood of the movie as a whole. Well worth watching on the late show, cable, or if you find a copy of the video.
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