A vaudeville star has to leave her daughter with her dead husband's stuffy Boston parents while she makes a living. But when the daughter shows some talent, the mother become a stage mother... See full summary »
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A vaudeville star has to leave her daughter with her dead husband's stuffy Boston parents while she makes a living. But when the daughter shows some talent, the mother become a stage mother and pushes her daughter into becoming a Broadway star. The mother is a monster with a heart of gold, and after breaking up the daughter's love affair, finally sees the error of her ways. Written by
Flying trapeze swinger Alice Brady (as Katherine "Kitty" Lorraine) is grounded when she becomes pregnant, then takes the baby girl to go live with her husband's family in Boston, Massachusetts. Eventually, with encouragement from comedian Ted Healy (as Ralph Martin), Ms. Brady returns to the vaudeville stage. When her daughter grows up to be gawky Maureen O'Sullivan (as Shirley), the now older Brady makes pretty Ms. Sullivan over as the leggy star of a successful Busby Berkeley-type chorus girls show.
"Stage Mother" attempts to convey some seedy theatrical realities, but they are hesitant and humorous instead of dramatic. Writer Bradford Ropes helped adapt his original novel, but obviously had to tone down much the sexual content; what's left is a little silly. Two attractive young men, painter Franchot Tone and cruiser Phillips Holmes, court pretty O'Sullivan. Brady slices through the leading role. A highlight is the production number for "Beautiful Girl", which effectively celebrates the female form.
****** Stage Mother (9/20/33) Charles Brabin ~ Alice Brady, Maureen O'Sullivan, Franchot Tone, Phillips Holmes
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