21 user 6 critic

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


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Laura's overdue hotel bill of $62.50 would equate to nearly $1,000 in 2019. 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 »


Version of The Easiest Way (1917) See more »


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

User Reviews

Racy and Downbeat
19 June 2005 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

Constance Bennett stars as a lower class girl who takes the easy way. That is, she becomes a kept women. We see her in beautiful gown, in jewels, in furs. Adolph Menjou is footing the bill.

Then she meets newspaperman Robert Montgomery and wants to give it all up for true love. I won't reveal the ending. But it's not an especially happy one, and three cheers to Hollywood for not selling out.

A few comments on the perfumers: . Robert Montgomery is not someone I can imagine anyone's throwing over even a modest income for.

. Clark Gable has a fairly small role here. He plays, with of course no mustache, Bennett's proper working class and disapproving brother-in-law.

. Bennett is chic as she always is. But she isn't photographed in a faltering manner. Her profile is rather flat. She appears to have an overbite and her false eyelashes seem apparent. Maybe the director of photography and she did not get on well.

. The brilliant Marjorie Rameau turns in the earliest of her fine performances that I have seen. She plays another kept woman. When Bennett is down on her luck and asks for a loan, she sends her packing. But when her daddy dies, she comes to Bennett for money and is given it.

Her performance is in a different realm from that of any of the other players in this movie.

Bennett is a strangely forgotten star of early movies. Rambeau is a sadly underrated actress, whose career spanned several decades.

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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)
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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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