Engrossing Story Is Wisely Ordered Within Outlines Of Cinematic Melodrama.
This enjoyable pre-Hays Code and meagrely budgeted romantic melodrama benefits from a crisply composed screenplay from Mary Flannery, that the first (and only) time director and veteran character actor Alphonse Martell proves to be adept at employing for his expositional development, in this instance a Parisian background, that parries anything smacking of reality, thereby revealing pleasures that lie within the narrative. Suzanne Ricord (Madge Bellamy), a shopgirl working at a tony Paris perfumer's, there meets, subsequently to be wooed by, wealthy Count Balraine (Theodore Von Eltz), who soon after decides against continuing his romantic relationship with the beautiful blonde and seizes from her very finger their engagement ring, not being even slightly moved by her attendant dismay, crushing Suzanne who is impelled by his harsh act to take employment at a cabaret theatre as a singer while also, along with her similarly embittered roommate Paulette (Molly O'Day), becoming "gigolettes", flirting with and taking pecuniary advantage of susceptible cabaret patrons who have fallen for the charms of the two girls despite their manifest golddigging deportment. Suzanne befriends a fancy man habitué of the night spot, Tony (Gilbert Roland), who has fallen in love with her although she is primarily interested in using him to earn revenge against Balraine for his callous treatment, the Count having presented her former ring to serve as adornment for the hand of a new conquest, worldly and somewhat cynical Lady Diane (Natalie Moorhead), who as it happens is now enamoured of the seductive Tony. The gigolo aids Suzanne with her scheme of requital, aspiring thereby to win her heart, but it becomes apparent that she is completely obsessed with retribution, focused upon returning the Count's statement made to her during their break-up that their sudden separation was according to "the rules of the game", and although she does give to Tony an expensive wrist watch that she has garnered from one of her admirers, it proves to be stolen property, and becomes a linchpin for the tale's climactic episode. The cast performs well with Flannery's script, Bellamy additionally exhibiting a solid command of her light soprano range during one song number at the cabaret, while many able turns may be enjoyed, particularly from Roland, Von Eltz, sardonic O'Day and Moorhead, along with a large number of supporting players. Both the platinum tressed Moorhead and the natural blonde Bellamy exhibit attractive marcelled waves, the former gaining the acting as well as coiffure honors with a typically sophisticated interpretation of her role. Released upon an Alpha Home Entertainment DVD in 2007, the film has not been remastered, as is standard operating procedure for the company, and there are no extra features. The work's visual quality is fine, but the audio track often slides out of synchronization.
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