23 user 14 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.


Edward Buzzell (as Edduie Buzzell)


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




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


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


A girl with a dark past tries to become a girl with a bright future! (Print Ad- Gazette and Bulletin,((Williamsport, Penna.)) 29 December 1932) See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Carole Lombard made this film for Columbia Pictures while on loan from Paramount. See more »


[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, and ...
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 »


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


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

User Reviews

Good Acting -- Pretty Good Script
17 December 2007 | by alonzoiii-1See all my reviews

This movie asks that not unusual pre-Code movie question -- can a woman live down her tawdry past by marrying a good-hearted lout? And, while there is the usual collection of misunderstandings and Plot Contrivances, some really sharp acting out of Lombard and (of all people) Pat O'Brien. Also helpful is that this movie never loses sight of its emotional core, the understandably troubled relationship between Lombard and O'Brien. Also interesting is that Mayo Methot (the future battling Bogart) gets a far larger role than is usual -- and is good in it. Ward Bond also appears.

See this if you want to see Pat O'Brien do perhaps his best take on his urban loud-mouth with a heart of mush character. Maybe he is reacting to the genuine warmth coming off of Lombard's character. But it's unusual to see a Columbia movie of this vintage this well-acted, outside of Capra and Stanwyck.

Definitely worth a look. But don't really look for surprises in the plot. That is standard order for one of these ex-fallen-woman numbers.

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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