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Lady of the Night (1925)

TV-G | | Drama, Romance | 23 February 1925 (USA)
A world-weary prostitute yearns after respectability and the love of an inventor.


Monta Bell


Adela Rogers St. Johns (story), Alice D.G. Miller (scenario)




Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Molly Helmer / Florence Banning
Malcolm McGregor ... David Page (as Malcolm Mac Gregor)
Dale Fuller ... Miss Carr - Florence's Aunt
George K. Arthur ... 'Chunky' Dunn
Fred Esmelton ... Judge Banning
Lew Harvey Lew Harvey ... Chris Helmer - Molly's Father
Gwen Lee ... Molly's Friend
Betty Morrissey Betty Morrissey ... Gertie - Molly's Other Friend (as Betty Morrisey)
Learn more

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Lady of the Night ~ the story of two baby girls, born near in proximity, but worlds apart in life, - Molly Helmer, the daughter of a thief, and Florence Banning the daughter of the judge who would send Molly's father to prison. The girls' lives come together as young women at eighteen as Florence leaves the security of the exclusive Girls Select School, and Molly, now orphaned, begins her life free from reform school. Norma Shearer plays both young women, but the apparent differences in their worldliness will also make them most unfamiliar in appearance. Molly's new world consists of nights at Kelly's Dance Hall and her ever-present worshiper, Chunky Dunn. On one of her nightly dance hall outing's Molly meets David Page, an up and coming inventor, whom she quickly falls in love with. Molly persuades David to seek an honest buyer for his new safe-cracking device; against the advice of Chunky whose shadier side see's this as an opportunity for himself, and to corrupt David in the ... Written by glenn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Did You Know?


Contrary to popular belief, you see more than Joan Crawford's backside in this film. When Maddy and Florence are sitting in the back of the car, that's a split screen or double exposure of Norma Shearer - until the one shot when they hug. If you look carefully at their profiles you can see a difference in their noses, and the one on the right is Joan Crawford as Molly, in Molly's heavy make-up. Also, that one shot is framed a little wider than the preceding ones where Shearer plays both characters. Previously, there had also been two brief long shots of Crawford as Molly when she first arrives at David's workshop, where Florence, sitting closer to the camera, was already visiting. See more »


Near the end of the film, Molly is in her bedroom, sitting in front of her dressing table, imagining what it would be like to travel out west with Chunky. There are two close-ups where the elaborate feathers in her hat are on the left side of her head, while they are on the right side of her head in all other shots. See more »


'Chunky' Dunn: I'll marry you if you want me to.
Molly Helmer: Don't be so reckless.
'Chunky' Dunn: It's that Dave guy. Watch him give you the gate after he sells that invention
Molly Helmer: He won't! He won't!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2006, Turner Entertainment Company copyrighted a 61-minute version with an original piano score composed by Jon Mirsalis. It was broadcast on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in 2006, and distributed by Warner Bros. Television. See more »


Referenced in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »

User Reviews

Decent Silent
30 May 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Lady of the Night (1925)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Norma Shearer plays dual roles in this film, which was out of the public eye for many years until eventually being rescued by Turner Classic Movies in 2006. They remastered the film and added a wonderful musical score by Jon Mirsalis. In the film Shearer plays Molly, a girl who grew up in a reform school after he father was sent to prison when she was born. Florence, also played by Shearer, is a rich girl who grew up with everything she needed. As adults the two women remain strangers but they both end up falling in love with an inventor (Malcolm McGregor) and soon will have to face another another. Okay, there was a review of this movie in the San Francisco Examiner, which called this movie a masterpiece and one of the all-time greats and this got expectations high for many, many people but then many were letdown when they actually got to see the film. I would be one of them because while the performances are good the story itself was a complete mess. Not only was the story completely unoriginal, it's also very lazy and it really doesn't try to do anything special. The IMDb lists a 70-minute running time but the edition prepared by TCM ran 64-minutes. I'm curious if the film originally ran longer because there are several plot gaps throughout the film including any type of backstory explaining why Molly was in a reform school. Shearer is very good in both of her roles but I prefer her as Florence. I think she brings a lot of heart and soul to both women but at times Molly rubbed me the wrong way. It's also worth noting that Joan Crawford was the body double used here so whenever you see Shearer from behind you're actually seeing Crawford. In the end, silent buffs will want to watch this early production from MGM but it's doubtful others will find too much entertainment here.

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Release Date:

23 February 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ave Nocturna See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(2006 alternate)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (tinted)| Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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