Susan Trexel is a wealthy socialite, who while vacationing in Europe undergoes a religious transformation. On her return to America, Susan takes on the task of spreading her new found ...
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Susan Trexel is a wealthy socialite, who while vacationing in Europe undergoes a religious transformation. On her return to America, Susan takes on the task of spreading her new found religious experience with her closest friends - only to drive them crazy. Meanwhile, her husband Barrie, and daughter Blossom yearn for a stable family life. Barrie will even become sober, hoping that Susan will heed her own advice, and save their marriage and family. Written by
When Irene sends the men out of the room before Barrie comes in, she takes a cigarette from a porcelain box on the table, tapping it on the box lid. Cut to Barrie opening his car door and stumbling up the steps to the porch. There is an immediate cut back to Irene who is just putting the lid back on the box. See more »
If you're not going to be pretty, the least we can do is make you interesting.
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... he would have given the part of Susan to his wife Norma Shearer. Instead it went to Joan Crawford, and, oh my, what a revelation. As socialite Susan, Joan goes from being sly to oblivious to caring (in her own way) at the snap of a finger. Joan had played socialites before, but usually with that world weary and wise way about her that Joan brought to so many of her parts. This is a completely different type of role for her.
In a nutshell, Susan is a wealthy rather air-headed woman who goes on a trip and learns about God "in a completely new way" from a fellow traveler, one Lady Wigstaff. She comes home loaded down with brochures in every language and immediately just bursts in on the most personal parts of her friends' lives in a very open and coarse way - You two should never have gotten married, you two should never get married, etc. Except now what she would previously have called nosy she calls religion! Plus you can tell that this rude kind of criticism is just Susan's nature but now she can claim she is on a mission from God.
However, this new found faith has not changed her attitude towards her husband, Barry (Fredric March), who drinks heavily due to Susan's neglect, nor her attitude toward her teenage daughter, Blossom, who at first glance looks like she is doing anything but blossoming - physically that is. Susan will do anything to avoid the two of them, but Barry arrives at the estate where Susan is staying with her friends and has a showdown. In the end Susan agrees to Barry's challenge. She will spend the summer in their country estate with Barry and Blossom and if Barry slips up and gets drunk just once, Susan can have the divorce she has wanted for some time. Complications ensue.
Did I mention that a close friend of both of them (Ruth Hussey as Charlotte) has always been and is still in love with Barry, hates to see Susan walk all over him, but is too good a person to trespass? Even though she has a small part I thought Hussey was really a stand-out here.
I think this film has been unfairly forgotten with an IMDb rating that might have you thinking it is a bore. I disagree. With an unusual topic explored in an unconventional way right before the second world war, with great ensemble acting and crisp dialogue that keeps the first half of the movie moving when it could easily have bogged down, I would recommend this one.
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