6.9/10
599
22 user 11 critic

Virtue (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 25 October 1932 (USA)
A relationship gradually develops between a savvy New York street girl and a good-hearted cab driver, but other matters keep getting in their way, including financial problems and a murder.

Director:

Edward Buzzell (as Edduie Buzzell)

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screen play), Ethel Hill (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Mae
Pat O'Brien ... Jimmy Doyle
Mayo Methot ... Lil Blaine
Jack La Rue ... Toots
Shirley Grey ... Gert
Ward Bond ... Frank
Willard Robertson ... MacKenzie
Lew Kelly Lew Kelly ... Magistrate
Fred Santley Fred Santley ... Hank
Arthur Wanzer Arthur Wanzer ... Flanagan
Jessie Arnold ... Landlady
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... District Attorney
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Storyline

Taxicab driver Jimmy Doyle (Pat O'Brien) marries a girl of the streets, Mae (Carole Lombard and, overlooking her past, sets out to make a honest woman of her. But, during the reformation period, Mae returns to a hotel of ill repute to collect the $200 she once loaned to a street-walking girlfriend. Jimmy mistakenly thinks she has turned pro again and her situation worsens when she is implicated in a murder and jailed awaiting a court trial. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YESTERDAY A LADY WITH A PAST...TODAY THE WIFE OF THE MAN SHE LOVED! (original three-sheet poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Unbescholten See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia 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

Although real Yellow Cabs were used, they were renamed "Yellow Taxi Corp." and "Circle Cab Co." The partial overlays on the sides of the cars are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Flanagan: [at the ticket window at a train station] Pretty soft for you, sister, getting the city to pay your fare to Danbury.
Mae: Pretty soft for the city I don't live in Australia. C'mon, grandpa.
Flanagan: [on the train, placing Mae's luggage on the rack] There y'are.
[to the conductor]
Flanagan: The lady goes to Danbury, chief.
[to Mae]
Flanagan: Now take my advice, sister, and keep out of New York.
Mae: [snidely] OK, grandpa. I'll remember all your advice: I'll watch my diet, go to the dentist twice a year, keep my nose clean, ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Years later, Columbia reissued the film to capitalize on the subsequent stardom of Lombard and O'Brien. The Breen Office demanded the removal of the opening courtroom scene (which clearly establishes Lombard as a prostitute) to conform to the Production Code. In restoring the film, the original soundtrack was located, but the image is still missing, thus current prints have a slug (blank footage) for the opening scene, leading some viewers to believe the black image was intentional. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Carole Lombard (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

My Gal Sal
(1905) (uncredited)
Written by Paul Dresser
Played on a phonograph in Lil's room, twice
See more »

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User Reviews

First Part Shines
29 July 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the plot. Pre-code movies are almost all interesting, but this one doesn't reach the level of hidden gem. (Check out Night Nurse {1931} or Employees Entrance {1933} for examples of pre-Code sleepers.) Virtue is a well-acted, involving feature with some clever innuendo. However, developments get pretty contrived toward the end with an outcome that's all too predictable. In short, despite some adult-level boldness, the final result is too similar to movies made after the Code to really distinguish itself from the pack.

Lombard is winning as the reformed hooker; however, she plays it straight, so this is not one of her signature madcap roles, to say the least. I agree with the reviewer who singles out Methot's performance as especially good. Her role here is the first time I've seen her and I'm impressed. She manages to make the betrayal of the gigolo Toots O'Neill deliciously believable in the midst of a pretty contrived murder sequence.

Be sure to cock an ear to the first 15 minutes. That's where Rifkin's dialogue really shines with a number of fast-moving innuendoes. Once the two lovebirds get hitched, the patter settles into a more conventional mode. Good thing O'Brien's not supposed to be rich because this is a pretty cheap production. The newly-wed's cold water flat is fine, but check out the "casino"—a heavy curtain, a bare table, and a chuck-a-luck. So I guess we're supposed to use our imagination. However, despite the flaws, the movie remains an entertaining 70 minutes.


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