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The Easiest Way (1931)

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 »

Director:

Jack Conway

Writers:

Edith Ellis (adaptation), Eugene Walter (play)
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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida Fácil See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play opened in New York on 19 December 1909. See more »

Goofs

When Constance Bennett visits Anita Page and has the child sat on her lap, the fur stole she is wearing drops off of her shoulder; it remains off of her shoulder in distance shots yet miraculously reappears in every close-up. See more »

Quotes

William Brockton: You've tasted luxury, my dear. And that's worst than drugs.
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Crowd (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)
(1751) (uncredited)
Written by John Francis Wade
Played as background music at Christmas time
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Early talkie with some up and coming stars
8 February 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Constance Bennett is a woman who gets a sugar daddy in "The Easiest Way," also starring Adolphe Menjou, Robert Montgomery, Anita Page, and Clark Gable. Made in 1931, it's directed by Jack Conway, and it's very well done.

Bennett plays Laura, who lives in a crowded tenement with her large family, which includes her father who manages not to work. She gets an opportunity to model for an advertising agency. While there, she catches the eye of the boss (Menjou) who offers her a life of luxury. She takes it. Her mother shuns her, and her brother-in-law, Clark Gable, has no use for her. While she and Menjou are in Colorado, she meets a reporter, Robert Montgomery, and they fall in love. She promises to be faithful to him while he's in South America for three months. But it's pretty hard to make it on her own.

This is an interesting film. Because the actors were getting used to sound, the rhythm is occasionally off, i.e., there are sometimes awkward pauses between lines. Everyone's acting is good, with the exception of Marjorie Rambeau, who has a very melodramatic role and does the tremulous voice thing in her big monologue. Rambeau, however, had been a Broadway star, where her theatrics were more appropriate, and it took actors time to learn the art of film acting. She was a fantastic actress, and I particularly remember her as Joan Crawford's mother in "Torch Song." Constance Bennett, as usual, was very beautiful. She is excellent in the part of a torn, vulnerable woman. Gable is a tough guy sans mustache. He hadn't yet developed his screen persona, but the gorgeous smile was there. Robert Montgomery is wonderful as a young reporter.

There was a neat shot where the camera travels up a building, zeroes in on a window, and then zooms in. It was dizzying and exciting, and it's the kind of detail that makes "The Easiest Way" a good watch. There are real outdoor scenes, too, no painted backdrops, and opulent sets. If they weren't opulent, they were realistic, for instance, the crummy apartment where Laura's family lives.

There was another ending to this film that the Hays office vetoed. Apparently it was shown in some theaters but is no longer available. I'm a sap, so I liked the ending that's in the movie.


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