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Showgirl Sally meets young playboy Leonard St. John; they fall in love and are secretly married. When Leonard's father discovers this he sets out to break them apart, and following a bitter row, Leonard kills himself, leaving Sally to pick up the pieces of her life. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dunne and Holmes in teary romantic tale of mother love...
IRENE DUNNE had THE SECRET OF MADAME BLANCHE. It's the forerunner of all those Madame X stories that gave actresses meaty roles in tear-jerkers. For Olivia de Havilland it was TO EACH HIS OWN. For Lana Turner and earlier, Ruth Chatterton, it was MADAME X. For Helen Hayes it was THE SIN OF MADELON CLAUDET. These were the kind of stories that spanned some twenty years, always about women who were cheated out of mother love--women who fell in love unwisely and were then cheated by circumstances.
LIONEL ATWILL is the rich father whose son (PHILLIPS HOLMES) has fallen in love with a cabaret singer and he opposes the match from the start, threatening to stop giving his son handouts to keep them solvent. The son is destitute when he learns that she's about to have a baby and finally commits suicide. The years fly by and Dunne is now a working woman in London at a not very reputable establishment populated by servicemen. It's World War I and one of the patrons is a young man who makes a fuss over not being given a room. He turns out to be her son and she is soon protecting him from a murder charge.
It's a pretty plot-heavy melodrama with enough twists and turns to keep the viewer interested, but you have to have a taste for these mother/son tear-jerkers to truly enjoy this sort of film.
The final scene with mother and son reunited at a prison after a stormy trial, is reminiscent of MADAME X--but at least here, the son learns the true identity of his mother.
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