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Ladies of Leisure (1930)

An upper-crust artist hires a 'party girl' as a model; romance follows.

Director:

Frank Capra (as Frank R. Capra)

Writers:

Milton Herbert Gropper (adapted from the David Belasco Stage Play by), Jo Swerling (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Kay Arnold
Ralph Graves ... Jerry Strong
Lowell Sherman ... Bill Standish
Marie Prevost ... Dot Lamar
Nance O'Neil ... Mrs.John Strong
George Fawcett ... John Strong
Juliette Compton ... Claire Collins
Johnnie Walker ... Charlie
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Storyline

Jerry Strong is the son of a rich businessman, but wants to be a painter. He hires Kay Arnold, a good girl with a bad past, as a model. They fall in love, and plan to get married. But Jerry's parents raise strong objections. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ZIPPY! DARING! PEPPY! GAY! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladies of the Evening See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Capra wrote the first draft of Ladies of Leisure, before Jo Swerling took over. According to his interview "I went to my hotel, locked myself in my room and for five days pounded out a rewrite story of the plot I'd heard, interrupting the writing only long enough for black coffee, sandwiches and brief snitches of sleep. I was simply writing a newspaper yarn with a longer deadline than usual. The result was Ladies of Leisure." See more »

Goofs

When Jerry and Kay are out on the roof at night, the stars are twinkling in the background, but at one point the stars that should be behind Kay (i.e., not visible) are superimposed on her face. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Strong: I'm over 18 years old, you know.
Bill Standish: Well, most men never get to be 18. And most women are over 18 when they're born.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Columbia simultaneously released "Ladies of Leisure" in both sound and silent versions. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's Prayer
(uncredited)
Music by J. Nitano
Arranged by Maurice Baron
See more »

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User Reviews

 
in the Capra mold
18 February 2009 | by mukava991See all my reviews

LADIES OF LEISURE, adapted to the screen from a play, is another in a long line of Frank Capra-directed films that pits the lower orders against the upper through the device of a romantic entanglement. In this case it's "lady of leisure" (read: prostitute or good time gal) Barbara Stanwyck against the slightly bohemian scion of a wealthy banking family (Ralph Graves). The theme of the movie is set right away as we see a bustling Manhattan street at night. Suddenly bottles fall from the sky and explode on the sidewalk, narrowly missing pedestrians. They are coming from a group of drunken young women who are tossing them over a penthouse terrace balcony for kicks. These party girls have been hired by dissolute swell Lowell Sherman, a friend of Graves, who, offended by the crudity of the party scene, hops into his roadster for a drive into the country. He stops by a lake where he sees a young woman (Stanwyck) dressed in an evening gown rowing herself ashore in a canoe. It turns out she too is a party girl and is also escaping a wild party, this time on a yacht. He finds her attractive and offers her a ride back to the city. As is her habit, she picks his pocket while he's driving. Thus the plot line is set. We know what will happen by the end. Along the way we are treated to a beautifully etched characterization by Stanwyck who covers a wide range of acting territory from crude and lowdown to transcendentally idealistic. The equally inventive Marie Prevost provides generous support as her overweight roommate. Lowell Sherman, playing the same type of hard-drinking, pleasure-loving sophisticate as he often did in other movies (Bachelor Apartment, What Price Hollywood), is also excellent.

For whatever reason, Ralph Graves cannot perform like a flesh and blood human being. His movements are stiff and unmotivated, his emotions seem forced and sudden. Even the expression on his face looks pasted on from some other character in some other movie. All wrong. One is not surprised to see that within a few years he was playing uncredited bit parts in third-rate movies. His silent film credits are numerous and go back to the teens so one can only wonder what his appeal was. He is not bad looking, so one must assume that his substantial silent film career owed a lot to his appearance.


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