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The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 19 February 1937 (USA)
Two English aristocrats pursue a rich American widow who may not be quite the person she claims to be.

Directors:

Richard Boleslawski, Dorothy Arzner (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Leon Gordon (screen play), Samson Raphaelson (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Crawford ... Fay Cheyney
William Powell ... Charles
Robert Montgomery ... Arthur Dilling
Frank Morgan ... Lord Kelton
Jessie Ralph ... Duchess
Nigel Bruce ... Willie Wynton
Colleen Clare ... Joan
Benita Hume ... Kitty Wynton
Ralph Forbes ... Cousin John
Aileen Pringle ... Lady Maria Frinton
Melville Cooper ... William
Leonard Carey ... Ames
Sara Haden ... Anna
Lumsden Hare ... Inspector Witherspoon
Wallis Clark Wallis Clark ... George
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Storyline

Mrs. Fay Cheyney, a rich American widow, insinuates herself into London society. Two men in particular -- middle-aged Lord Kelton and Lord Arthur Dilling, a young playboy -- pursue her. All are present at a large weekend house party, and though both men press their suit, Fay seems to favor Kelton. Then Dilling sees Fay's butler lurking in the gardens, recognizes him as a jewel thief who was apprehended in Monte Carlo, and realizes that Fay is probably after the hostess's pearls. Fay does get hold of the pearls -- but before she can pass them to her accomplice, Dilling gets hold of her. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com> and Determined Copy Editor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Última Conquista See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$741,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Frank Morgan and Sara Haden also appeared together in The Shop Around the Corner (1940).. See more »

Goofs

Standing on deck, Fay is trying, unsuccessfully to light the cigarette in her holder with a lighter. she is seen by Nigel Bruce, who lights it for her. Later, when offered a cigarette by Lord Dilling, she states, "....you know I don't smoke." Since the characters have speculated about her, wouldn't Lord Dilling know that his friend lit her cigarette aboard ship? See more »

Quotes

Charles: Awfully good, these cigarettes.
Arthur Lord Dilling: I'll send you some.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the three leading star's names are listed over a photograph of them. See more »

Connections

Version of Frau Cheneys Ende (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

London Bridge is Falling Down
(1888) (uncredited)
Traditional nursery song
Background music with the charity auction notice
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming Tour-de-Force for the Stars
4 October 2003 | by EightyProof45See all my reviews

Many earlier reviewers have said the Crawford was "mis-cast" as Mrs. Cheyney. I have to disagree. It is not her best performance (for her best acting, see her small but scene-stealing role in The Women and for a Crawford feast, see her Oscar-winning turn in Mildred Pierce), but it is far from her worst. The blame cannot be entirely placed on Crawford either. Nor can it be placed on the director. It must be placed on the production code administrators who sheared Hollywood scripts after 1934, cutting out anything considered "risqué." The original play by Fredric Lonsdale is a surprisingly hilarious and fresh send-up of the class sytem in England. Butler and footmen who are actually thieves in disguise get to act veddy propper and then (when the guests leave) get to drop their phony apparel. Its really quite funny. In the play, when Crawford's would-be suitor catches her at robbery, he forces her to spend a night in the closet with him. This was wonderfully handled in the 1929 Norma Shearer original of this picture. But the production code said that thieves had to always be punished, and sexual actions could not be forced or blackmailed. Thus, this is an extremely bowdlerized version of the play. It is interesting to watch the stars interplay, and I'm a bit surprised that it flopped so largely in 1937. Seeing some of the junk that goes over big nowadays, one would think that with a cast like this and high production values, it would have at least made its mark. See the Norma Shearer version, if you can find it. Unfortunately, its very rare (there is a laser disc version of it on The Dawn of Sound Volume III), but totally worth it. It is risqué and hilarious. Or see Trouble In Paradise, another early pre-Code comedy about jewel thieves, who in that film, don't have to face punishment for their actions.


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