Small town Kansas girl, Lily James, is the latest model working for the Thomas Callaway Agency in New York City. Despite her small town roots, Lily is street-wise because of her tough ... See full summary »
Small town Kansas girl, Lily James, is the latest model working for the Thomas Callaway Agency in New York City. Despite her small town roots, Lily is street-wise because of her tough growing up experiences, and as such she is a good judge of character. She believes she can escape her troubles through professional success. Because of her hard work ethic, she quickly does rise to the top of her profession. She attracts the attention of Steve Harleigh, a wealthy copper mine owner. Despite they both knowing that nothing can come between them, they fall in love. The issues are that he lives and works in Montana, and that he is already married. Steve feels guilty about his marital infidelity as his wife, Nora, is physically disabled from a car accident in which he was the cause. Lily has to decide if her own happiness is worth destroying the life of a woman - an invalid - she's never met. Written by
Lily James appears as "Top Model" on the cover of a Life magazine being read by Jim Leversoe. The scene immediately dissolves to the cover of the same Life magazine in a plane with Steve Harleigh, but the cover shot of the Life magazine on the plane is an entirely different pose (but the same outfit and hairdo). See more »
This is a fairly gripping drama with good performances all around. It's always fun to see the veteran Louis Calhern who's good in just about anything. Lana Turner was the real surprise here although it seemed that at 29 she was a bit too old for that part. Her performance drew me into this sordid little tale of an ambitious small town girl who becomes a top New York model and takes up with a married man. I knew it couldn't end well but I kept watching and waiting. Ann Dvorak was another standout. She made me feel the pain and anguish of the forgotten model who's descended into a life of misery and booze. Ray Milland was the sore spot. He's a fine actor and performed well here as well but I just couldn't see him as the rough and tough Montana copper mine operator, at least not with an English accent. The fact that Welsh actor Margaret Phillips played his wife perhaps was meant to imply they were transplants from England but it was never made clear. In any case it's a good way to spend an hour and forty-eight minutes. Despite occasionally yielding to the temptation of melodrama it's not dull and definitely worth watching.
One more thing: the trivia section lists an alternate ending where the Lana Turner character ends up committing suicide like the Ann Dvorak character. It was changed when the test audience hated it. The current ending is not the greatest but I'm not sure it I would have liked the original ending any better. It just didn't seem likely that someone that had worked so hard and diligently to become a top model would have committed suicide for any reason. I think the current ending better reflects such a personality.
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