Vicki Meredith, an American ballet student in Paris, falls in love with Randall Williams, another American studying architecture in Paree, and they set up some light housekeeping together ...
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The Woman in Room 13 is a 1932 American mystery film directed by Henry King, written by Guy Bolton and Max Marcin. Cast: Elissa Landi, Ralph Bellamy, Neil Hamilton, Myrna Loy. Released on May 15, 1932, by Fox Film Corporation.
Vicki Meredith, an American ballet student in Paris, falls in love with Randall Williams, another American studying architecture in Paree, and they set up some light housekeeping together until she learns that Randall has forgotten to mention that he has a wife back in the USA. This miffs Vicki to the point where she ups and heads for South America where she meets and falls in love with Philip Fletcher, a construction engineer from America. But he hustles off to build Boulder Dam. They meet again in New York City and discover their separation has made their love even stronger. Then, Randall and his wife show up and sophistication rears its ugly head. There is also a 'Dance of the Maidens' sequence thrown in. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
WIll Elissa Landi ever stop talking and say something???
I love the sophisticated precodes, but this one's charm largely eludes me. Vicki Meridith (Elissa Landi) is a student of the dance in Paris who has a winter affair with an architect student (Victor Jory as Randall Williams). However, spring is here and Randall breaks the news to Vicki that he is married, and that their affair must end as he has an arrangement with his wife that he can do what he likes in the winter, but in the spring he must return to her side and live the high society life of her choosing. Jarred and broken hearted Vicki takes a dancing job in South America because she can't stand to see other lovers in Paris in the spring after what has just happened to her.
Vicki does recover pretty quickly though, and the next time we see her she's involved with Philip Fletcher ( Warner Baxter), an engineer working on some major construction projects in South America. Vicki is getting ready to leave and go back to New York where better parts await. This is where we see one of the truly bizarre but typically inane early Fox musical numbers. Elissa is in some kind of ballet. The players appear to be in ancient Egyptian garb and Elissa is clutching what appears to be a stuffed animal that the other players are trying to take from her. The male dancers appear in rather absurd costumes with head garb that look something like that of the Statue of Liberty and loincloths that appear to be made of a pattern similar to the American flag. The audience applauds thunderously afterwards, but I found my reaction to be one of just gawking.
The plot comes to a head and to a halt five years later when Melissa, now a big star, is reunited with her old flame Philip Fletcher, apparently either a very patient man or a man who knows what he wants or both. The two are planning to take a cruise on Philip's yacht preceded by a night on the town when Randall William appears again, this time with promise of a divorce from his socialite wife and expecting to pick up where he left off. He seems to forget that where he left off was putting Melissa's heart in a blender. Oddly enough, the three go to dinner together, with Randall rightly assuming that Melissa is a flighty enough woman that he at least has a shot at getting her back in one night - she and Philip are to sail the next day. Philip assumes that Melissa may weaken but in the end she'll see what Randall really is and stay with him. Thrown into the mix unexpectedly is the appearance of Randall's society wife who has no desire to let Randall go. She says that as long as she allows Randall his little excursions from time to time he really is a pretty good husband and she wants to hold on to that.
The problem with this film is that Warner Baxter is largely wasted in this movie with all the attention going to Elissa Landi's character. She spends this pivotal evening annoyingly giddy and waffling back and forth between her two possible futures. Plus she talks incessantly without really saying anything. The interesting performances are given by Victor Jory as the smirking confident cad and Miriam Jordan as Cynthia, his rather stoic wife.
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