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The Easiest Way (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 7 February 1931 (USA)
Growing up in a poor working-class family, Laura decides not to marry the boy-next-door and instead accepts wealthy, older Will Brockton's invitation to move in with him. After falling in ... See full summary »


Jack Conway


Edith Ellis (adaptation), Eugene Walter (play)




Complete credited cast:
Constance Bennett ... Laura Murdock
Adolphe Menjou ... William Brockton
Robert Montgomery ... Jack Madison
Anita Page ... Peg Murdock
Marjorie Rambeau ... Elfie St. Clair
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Ben Murdock
Clara Blandick ... Agnes Murdock
Clark Gable ... Nickolas (Nick) Feliki


Growing up in a poor working-class family, Laura decides not to marry the boy-next-door and instead accepts wealthy, older Will Brockton's invitation to move in with him. After falling in love with young up-and-coming newsman Jack Madison she leaves Brockton to wait for Madison's return from a long assignment. She runs out of money and becomes desperate, returning again to Brockton who, upon learning of Madison's sudden arrival, tells Laura she must inform Madison of her living situation or he will. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A SOUL FOR SALE But this man bought her body and forgot her soul! Then Love came along-was it too late? (Print Ad- Troy Times, ((Troy NY)) 25 April 1931)


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was a success at the box office, earning MGM a profit of $193,000 (over $3M in 2019) according to studio records. See more »


When Jack and Laura are horseback riding, the shadow of the boom microphone is clearly visible as they move through it, after she mentions the "canyons" of New York City. See more »


Jack Madison: You know, I may be gone two, maybe, three months. What are you going to do? Are you going to be alright?
Laura Murdock: Mmm-hmm. I'll go back to my old job, commercial posing.
Jack Madison: Not one of these artists that, eh...
Laura Murdock: No. Nothing worst than undies, darling.
See more »


Edited into Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1972) See more »


Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played as background music at Christmas time
See more »

User Reviews

Remarkable Film--Except for the Ending
30 June 2005 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Wonderful story ruined by Hays Office has fabulous Constance Bennett escaping her New York slum upbringing by becoming a model and mistress to Adolphe Menjou. All is well until she runs into reporter Robert Montgomery in Colorado Springs (the Wild West in 1931). He's off to South America and asks Bennett to be good and wait for him. Well that lasts about a month. She runs out of money and goes back to Menjou. Better than it sounds until the hack ending. Solid performances by the stars, especially Bennett, and ably supported by Anita Page, Marjorie Rambeau, Clark Gable (his first MGM film), J. Farrell MacDonald, Clara Blandick, Jack Hanlon (as the sullen brother), and Hedda Hopper. The opening tenement scene is just wonderful. Gable is dynamic is his first big part. Rambeau is always terrific. Page is quite good in a supporting role. Menjou is slimy, but Constance Bennett is front and center and mesmerizing. She was a major star of her time--too bad she's mostly forgotten now.

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Release Date:

7 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Easiest Way See more »


Box Office


$310,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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