6.2/10
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31 user 8 critic

The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)

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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

After Fay Cheyney has a small visit from Joan and goes to re-lock the door, the scene changes slightly to another take from that moment forwards. 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

 
Joan and her two co-stars
29 May 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

There is a lot of criticism, mostly negative, on this board about this film, which I can't understand. I have never seen the original film version with Norma Shearer, but it appears not to be bowdlerized like this one. But bowdlerized or not, this is a very good film.

It has a first rate cast led by Crawford (who was capable of comedy but opted for dramatic intense roles like Mildred Pierce). As the role calls for her to be compromised by her actions (she has masqueraded as a socialite to be accepted by the jaded aristocrats in order to pull off a jewel robbery) the role is not a slap happy funny part like say Rosalind Russell's Hildy Johnson, but a tonier style of sophisticated comedy. As such it is perfectly fitted to Crawford's screen persona.

As for the jaded aristocrats: Frank Morgan may not do a British accent at all, but his fumbling is pretty good here - he is the richest man in England, and could give an intelligent talk on industrial output or tariffs, but cannot open up his heart to Crawford; Nigel Bruce is another nobleman, who has a randy set of eyes for pretty ladies, and cannot see his wife (Benita Hume) is far too close to her "cousin" (Ralph Forbes). The splendid Jessie Ralph is an aging dowager who befriends Crawford (it is her pearl necklace that Crawford is seeking to steal). She is a lively and likable old lady, and one with a scandalous past (as we eventually learn). But if none of the aristocrats are spotless in character (except possibly the boring Morgan), the other members of the gang are not wonderful. Melville Cooper (pretending to be Crawford's chauffeur) is constantly ready to whip out his handy knife and cut the throat of anyone he thinks is double crossing them.

But the most interesting thing about the casting were the two leading men: Robert Montgomery and William Powell. The two most sophisticated and suave leading men of the golden age of movies only appeared in this one film together. They share only four scenes, but it is remarkable about how smooth the scenes are - like a perfect set of volleyball games with no shots and counter shots missed by either party (and when Crawford joins them she is equally smooth in responding to both her leading men). She had made other films with Montgomery but there were no others after this one. As for Powell, this was there only film together. As such it should be seen for the bright chemistry between the three leads alone, but it is a good comedy on its own.


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