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 ... See full summary »
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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
The play was originally bought for Norma Shearer. She balked at playing the mother of a 14-year old, so Joan Crawford got the role. See more »
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 »
One of Joan Crawford's oddest movies. Joan plays a self-centered rich lady and busybody named Susan Trexel who undergoes a sudden religious conversion. Then, like a lot of people who find religion, she can't wait to tell everybody about it over and over again. She drives her friends nuts giving them unwanted advice and butting into their lives. She also neglects her family and doesn't apply her newfound beliefs to her own life. Her estranged husband Barrie (Fredric March) has a drinking problem he's trying to conquer to help bring their family back together but Susan isn't helping matters any. Also her poor daughter desperately wants her family back together but she's overlooked as well.
Nice supporting cast includes Ruth Hussey, Bruce Cabot, Nigel Bruce, Marjorie Main, and Rita Hayworth. Special mention to young Rita Quigley as Susan's ugly duckling daughter. Joan was really trying to broaden her acting range during this period and this role is definitely unlike any other she had played up to this point. I've seen a number of criticisms towards her performance that say she compares badly with Gertrude Lawrence, who evidently originated the role on the stage. I'm not familiar with Mrs. Lawrence nor am I in possession of a time machine to go back over 70 years to compare the two performances. Thankfully I don't have the baggage of comparison to deal with when watching this movie. I think Joan is very good as the insufferable Susan. March is good in his part, as well.
My only major complaint is that you can tell the movie was adapted from a play. It's stagey by 1940 standards. There's barely any score, particularly in the first hour, and the scenes are all very setbound. Given the length this wears on you after awhile. I'm a little surprised George Cukor didn't do much about this. His direction is very pedestrian here. Overall, it's an OK drama with some comedy and one of Joan Crawford's most interesting performances.
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