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This is a film that came between two of Joan Crawford's best work in the movies, while still employed by MGM, "Grand Hotel" and "The Women". This is a film seldom seen these days. Thanks to TCM we had the opportunity to watch it.
In fact, "No More Ladies", is an adaptation of a stage play. Even though George Cukor was not given credit for helping Edward Griffith with the direction, the adaptation can't circumvent the fact one is watching a theatrical play the way it unfolds on the screen. Donald Ogden Stewart, a talented screen writer is among the several people that collaborated with the script. The problem with the screen play is that if feels too artificial.
The film is worth a look because of the star turn by Edna May Oliver, who as Fanny, steals the picture from its principals. Although not a radiant beauty, Ms. Oliver makes her presence known from the start because of her wit and the lines she delivers with absolute conviction and flair. As Neil Doyle has commented in this page, Ms. Oliver is the best thing in the film.
Joan Crawford is Marcia, the rich girl in love with Sherry, a man who has an eye for beautiful women and who doesn't mind straying. Ms. Crawford, dressed by Adrian, shows she had a way to show herself at an advantage in front of the camera, who loved her features, but somehow she comes across as too remote and she doesn't seem to have too much chemistry with her co-star.
Robert Montgomery plays Sherry, the man who can't keep away from women, as is the case when he meets Theresa, an attractive girl about town who couldn't care less if he belongs to another. Mr. Montgomery was an actor well suited for this type of comedy. He is always effective in the characters he portrays in film.
The supporting cast is interesting. Gail Patrick is perfect as Theresa, a role she was always good at portraying. Franchot Tone and especially Charles Ruggles, are seen at their best. This film marked the debut of Joan Fontaine, billed as Joan Burfield, in a small part.
"No More Ladies" is a curiosity film made more enjoyable by the presence of Edna May Oliver.
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