On a cruise to Cuba, Lulu Smith falls in love with Bob Grover. Back home, she breaks off the romance when he tells her he is married. Lulu has a baby, but doesn't tell Bob, who turns out to be a rising politician. She passes herself off as the baby's nanny. When Bob learns what is going on, he adopts the little girl, not telling his wife or anyone else where she came from. Lulu gets a job at a newspaper. Things get complicated when the editor gets the dirt on Grover, but also wants to marry Lulu.Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While filming the horse-riding scene on the beach, Barbara Stanwyck's horse was frightened by the movie lights, reared, threw the star off, and then kicked her on the way down. Stanwyck suffered a dislodged tail-bone, an injury which, though it didn't hold up production, did cause the actress discomfort for the rest of her life. See more »
The film begins in the present day, i.e. 1932. There is no attempt at period decor in any way; the automobiles, music, and clothing styles are all contemporary; twenty or thirty years pass by. The principals live out their lives, grow old, and die. Yet their surrounding environment never changes; it is still 1932. See more »
I was a fool! I was crazy!
Lulu, you've got to come back.
What for? To see you make love to your wife?
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Be sure to bring a snorkel so you don't drown in all the soap suds. Okay, it's a weepy from beginning to end, but 30's soap opera doesn't come much slicker than this. LuLu (Stanwyck) has a tropical fling to relieve a humdrum life. The trouble is that she leaves as one but comes back as two, and the father (Menjou) is already married. So what is poor Lulu to do now that she's an un-wed mother and Dad has big political ambitions and a wife. It takes an hour and a half to find out.
Apparently, Columbia studios had the formidable Stanwyck pegged as a 3-hanky heroine since they kept casting her in these sudsy roles. On the other hand, it took hard-boiled Warner Bros. to bring out that tough-cookie inner person we all know and enjoy. Still, she runs the emotional gamut here in fine fashion, persisting from one heartbreak to the next.
Two scenes stick with me. There's an absolutely exquisite horse ride through scalloped fingers of surf filmed in incandescent b&w (Joseph Walker). Anyone doubting the continuing value of b&w should take a look here. The wonderful dreamlike quality serves as a perfect correlate to what Lulu feels during the romantic get-away, and cannot be duplicated in color, at least in my little book.
Then there's that hilarious scene in the newspaper office where the pot-bellied old "Mary Sunshine" explains his 'advice to the lovelorn' column to the new Mary Sunshine (Lulu). He's a hard-bitten old reporter who resembles the column's title about as much as Alfred Hitchcock resembles Shirley Temple. And when he tells her to read seven letters and throw the rest away, you just know the empathetic Lulu will read the whole stack.
Sure, the story hangs together about as well as a Rube Goldberg contraption, but who cares since it all goes down pretty smoothly thanks to Capra's way with a camera and a storyline. Then too, I'm really proud of myself. I got through the 90 minutes with just two hankies on the floor instead of the usual three.
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