Ladies Of Leisure

1930, Movie, NR, 98 mins

Review

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David Belasco, one of the grandfathers of the Broadway stage, presented this in New York under the title "Ladies of the Evening," but as that might have been construed as referring to professional prostitutes, they changed the title for the screen. Graves, in an absolutely granite performance, is a rich young man who would like to be an artist. Stanwyck is an attractive model who would like to snare a rich young man who would like to be an artist. Graves sees right through her gold-digging ways but likes her anyway and thinks he can make a silk purse out of her, so he offers her a job as his personal model. It isn't long before Graves falls hard for Stanwyck and wants to marry her. Naturally, his parents, Fawcett and O'Neil, are shocked and totally against his marrying beneath his station. O'Neil goes so far as to have a confrontation with Stanwyck, pleading with her to stay away from the naive young man. Then Fawcett does the same. These are the two best scenes and could be an acting primer for soap-opera people even today. Stanwyck finally decides that it might be better if she leaves Graves, so she takes off for Cuba with Graves' pal Sherman aboard a cruise ship. She becomes increasingly morose and eventually jumps overboard. After she is rescued, Graves, who knew about her background, comes to see her in the hospital and prevails upon her to forget whatever anyone else has said and to join him in marriage for the rest of their lives. What little comedy exists is provided by Prevost as an overweight gold-digger who is trying to lose poundage, plays with a reducing vibrator, and races up twenty flights of stairs in the funniest sequence. Capra kept everyone under tight rein and any tendency to emote was admirably stifled under his firm direction. The picture was remade seven years later as WOMEN OF GLAMOUR with Virginia Bruce in the Stanwyck role. leave a comment

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Ladies Of Leisure
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