5.8/10
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The Misleading Lady (1932)

Helen makes a bet to seduce a man within 3 days in order to get a lead role in a play.

Director:

Stuart Walker

Writers:

Paul Dickey (play), Caroline Francke (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Claudette Colbert ... Helen Steele
Edmund Lowe ... Jack Craigen
Stuart Erwin ... Boney
Robert Strange ... Sydney Parker
George Meeker ... Bob Tracy
Selena Royle ... Alice Connell
Curtis Cooksey ... Bill Connell
William Gargan ... Fitzpatrick
Nina Walker Nina Walker ... Jane Weatherby
Edgar Nelson ... Steve
Fred Stewart ... Babe Merrill
Harry Ellerbe ... Spider Sandwahl
Will Geer ... McMahon - Asylum Guard
Donald MacBride ... Bill - Asylum Guard
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Storyline

Tired of her social set and their trivial activities and tedious gossip about society divorces and award-winning race horses, Helen yearns for something meaningful in her life. However, Helen doesn't intend to bring forth this new purpose by caring for the sick and starving masses in India, or helping out charities and orphanages. Instead, she decides that the key to her spiritual uplift is to become an actress; so, she vies for the title role in a scandalous new play entitled The Siren.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »

Taglines:

He had to turn caveman to tame a good girl who needed a bad slapping. (Print Ad- The Telegraph, ((Brisbane, Qld.)) 30 June 1932)

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sensation See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Misleading Lady opened at the Fulton Theater on November 25, 1913 and ran for 183 performances. See more »

Quotes

Helen Steele: I want a part in your new play more than anything in the world.
Sydney Parker: Why you've got everything you need. Why should you want to go on the stage?
Helen Steele: I'm bored. I want to do something worthwhile.
Sydney Parker: Well, I'd like to help you but what can I do?
Helen Steele: You haven't decided on anyone for the lead in The Siren...
Sydney Parker: You could no more play the Siren than I could.
Sydney Parker: Oh, now why would it be so impossible?
Sydney Parker: Well, for one thing, you're not a star. Now if your name were on the front page...
Helen Steele: You mean if I murdered my aunt?
Sydney Parker: That's ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Misleading Lady (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This "Lady" Is Misled
12 January 2006 | by broadcastellanSee all my reviews

Based on a 1913 stage play and twice filmed during the silent era, The Misleading Lady is a slight pre-code variant of The Taming of the Shrew, with Colbert as a scheming socialite who meets her match in the out-of-touch wildlife explorer (Edmund Lowe) she ventures to ensnare.

Neither gold digger nor vamp, Helen Steele is not particularly interested in landing a man. After all, she got both the finances and the fiancé to be set for life. But what a life! Parties, gossip, and insufferable boredom. It is the chance at reinvention that proves irresistible to her.

Finding it difficult to convince a theatrical producer that she is just right for the part of a siren in a new play he is mounting, Helen vows to give this sceptic a real-life demonstration of her seductive powers. To be considered for the role, she accepts the challenge of getting the thoroughly old-fashioned and downright misogynistic Jack Craigen to propose to her within three days of their first encounter. So, Helen's engagement ring changes fingers and the bet is on. Jack, who has just returned from a jungle expedition, turns out to be surprisingly easy prey—until he discovers, in a rather humiliating manner, what we know from the start: that Helen has neither been forthright nor free.

Can this modern woman be conquered by brute force? Jack is enamoured enough to give it a shot. This is pre-code romance, so pretty much anything goes as Helen is abducted, trapped, stripped and chained. The farce, which also confronts the increasingly terrified young woman with a lunatic on the run (Stuart Erwin), would have been more enjoyable and less disconcerting in its handling of the conquest had it not been approached like a neo- Gothic melodrama, a genre for which director Stuart Walker—the most "misleading" person in this production—had a far greater affinity.

In 1935, Colbert's most memorable shrew-taming co-star, Clark Gable, played the role of Jack in a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation. Yet even though The Misleading Lady does not lack sex, sophistication, and subversion—the key ingredients of the later screwball comedies—It Happened One Night it just ain't.


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