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The life of Sadie McKee takes many twists and turns. She starts as the daughter of the cook for the well off Alderson family. Lawyer Michael Alderson likes Sadie but she runs off to New York City with boyfriend Tommy to get married. Before they get married, Tommy takes up with show girl Dolly and deserts her. Sadie stays in New York and becomes involved with Michael's boss, millionaire Brennan. She marries the chronically alcoholic Brennan for his money. Michael views her as a golddigger at first, but then sees her help Brennan beat his alcoholism. Sadie leaves Brennan to try and find Tommy when she hears that her old flame is in trouble. Little does she know just how much trouble. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I had never heard of "Sadie McKee" before I saw it on Turner Classic's schedule and decided to Tivo it even though I'm not much of a Joan Crawford fan. I'm so glad I did. I think of 1934 as the start of the "code" period, but this is clearly pre-Code material. Not realistic in the modern sense, but more complex and human than I expected.
The real revelation to me was Franchot Tone as Michael, in whose aristocratic home Sadie grew up as the daughter of the cook. I have seen Tone in a number of other films -- "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "Lives of a Bengal Lancer" come to mind -- but I think I need to seek out some more of his films. In "Sadie McKee," he displayed more emotional range and acting technique than I had ever before seen from him. I understand that he and Crawford were married for awhile after this film was completed. It's easy to imagine the attraction.
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