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J. Farrell MacDonald
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This movie has a bit of the quality of the many movies adapted from Saturday Evening Post or Collier's magazine short stores. It is tidy, neat, and well paced, with a satisfying resolution in a manner that makes such films (and stories) pleasing but not amazing.
Vivian Tobin did not make a lot of films, but she is quite charming here as Lola, a spunky Broadway actress who marries a wealthy but spineless socialite (Paul Fix). Unfortunately for Lola, her husband is under the complete domination of his wealthy and narcissistic mother (Sarah Edwards). The couple has a child, but then tragedy intervenes in the person of a psychopathic book-maker (Harold Huber) and a not-so-kindly judge (Lloyd Ingraham).
Suffice it to say that Lola's next five years are rough, but she manages to make a go of it, thanks to the help of a gentle older woman (Mary Carr) and her helper (the extremely tall Jane Keckley), a gregarious suitor (Russell Hopton), and a passel of young kids, including the boisterous pair played by Cora Sue Collins and Dickie Moore. And then, just when you thought this would become a tear-jerker of a "woman's movie," danger strikes, and it turns out that everybody has a gun, even poor downtrodden Lola! This is not the usual last reel wrap-up to the semi-Stella-Dallas set-up we've been watching up to that point.
To say any more would be essentially to spoil the film, for in a plot as economical and precise as this one, each scene leads to the next in a way that cannot be teased apart for examination without deconstructing the entire edifice.
I'm pretty sure that at 62 minutes, the print i saw had been chopped for television, and the cuts seem to have come at all the predictable character-building spots, but still, it's better to have seen it in this form than to have missed it altogether. It's a nice little first feature for a double-bill home-showing of old-time movies.
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