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C. Aubrey Smith
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Cynthia is married to Steve and is a selfish hard woman. She decides where they will live, who they will see and even gets rid of Dora, the nanny who raised Steve and is now raising their daughter Ellen. When Steve divorce's Cynthia, even his mother is on Cynthia's side. While pleading a case in Washington, Steve meets a woman named Maris and falls for her. Maris does not know if she is going to the altar or the chopping block, but they marry and come back to his hometown. Unfortunately, Maris is the outsider, and being a small town where Cynthia and Steve grew up, everyone is Cynthia's friend and not Maris. Cynthia will use every occasion, every trick, including Ellen, to try to ruin the life that Steve has with Maris. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Standard drama of the kind that the studios churned out to fill the bottom half of a double bill back in Hollywood's Golden Age.
Herbert Marshall is torn between the covert scheming of first wife Mary Astor who has no compunction using their child as a weapon to try and get him back and his much more compatible second wife Virginia Bruce.
Since the situations are pat with many of these programmers it falls to the players to make something out of what they are handed.
Mary Astor comes out the victor in that department. Playing another in a long line of vengeful women she makes the small, selfish Cynthia far more interesting than the minor film deserves. A truly versatile actress she could play a poison pill of a creature in one film and turn right around in the next and play a homey, warm character such as Marmee in Little Woman with equal skill.
The usually highly enjoyable Herbert Marshall doesn't fare as well coming across as stiff and disengaged. He always had a reserve which was frequently put to good use but not here, he seems uncomfortable.
Virginia Bruce isn't given much of a role to play but she does get a few zingers in towards the end which she handles well.
Also adding nice little bits are Janet Beecher as Marshall's mother and Marjorie Rambeau as an old rum-pot friend of the couple, she in particular adds a bit of spice to the film whenever she shows up.
Directed economically but with no distinction by Sinclair, Mary still makes it short running time worth the while.
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