Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Helen Jerome Eddy
After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.
William A. Wellman
A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment lead to involvement with gangsters. In a brothel, she meets a young lawyer, scion of a wealthy and prestigious family, who falls for her and helps her turn around her life. But her past catches up with her, and she must face the music rather than cause him scandal.Written by
The original working title "Lady of the Night" was changed after the Hayes Office objected (the title was thought to be obscene). See more »
In the opening courtroom scene, the Cosmopolitan magazine edition that Mary is reading differs between the long and close-up shots. The edition she reads in long shots is the February, 1933 edition and in close-up shots, she reads the May, 1933 edition. See more »
Sometimes I think if I don't get away from you, I'll go out of my mind.
You'll never get away from me. You belong to me, remember?
I've never belonged to you.
See more »
Fast and well done all around...lifts just above excellent routine pre-code dramas
Midnight Mary (1933)
Wow, you'll never see so many wipe transitions from one scene to the next, which is a big part of how this great little movie moves and moves. Loretta Young is terrific in a common role for the time--a woman who is good at heart getgin in trouble through circumstance and a little too much trust, or plain old willingness. She is surrounded by a mixed and twirling (and large) cast of secondary characters, a couple of them well known such as leading male Franchot Tone.
William Wellman is a director known most of all for being professional. He has no signature style, and unlike say William Wyler or Michael Curtiz, also accused of being professionally style-less, he has no truly amazing films to his name. But boy does have have a dozen really excellent ones. And few duds. In fact, one reason I went out of my way to see this, at a neighbor's house who gets TCM, is because of Wellman.
And also because of Young, who was a starlet and a beauty in her time. If she lacked some on screen spark to make her a superstar, she still had a lovable, solid, convincing presence every time. In a way, she was perfect for Wellman. Tone, in his come and go role, is fine, as is the quirky Andy Devine (the guy with the hoarse, high voice).
Another reason to see this is the freshness it has as a pre-code film. There is a natural acceptance of couples living together (and presumably sleeping together) that is not a salacious part of the film but just makes it true--or at least less artificial. It's a great aspect to many of this era's movies, in some ways my favorite era of all the 1930s, as great as the later and purposely artificial screwball comedies truly are.
What will hold this back at all for some viewers is a lack of total polish and storytelling finesse (filming and editing, as well as writing). It isn't that films in 1933 were always plagued by small flaws like these, but even the masterpieces of the time feel a little raw in spots. This is a charm, a benefit, if you look at it that way. Don't expect "Casablanca" or even "It Happened One Night" (from the next year) and you'll really enjoy this. The plot is familiar, the acting routine, the lighting bright (high key). But it's really fun and well done and a fast ride. Do it.
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