Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
"Where would I go -- Paris? I got four bucks!"
"Are you really thinking or just pretending to?"
Lily Powers (Barbara Stanwyck) works in her unpleasant father's speakeasy, but an old customer named Adolph (Alphonse Ethier), suggests she take a cue from Nietzsche, of all people, and use men the way they all want to use her. So Lily takes off with her maid Chico (Theresa Harris), goes to the big city, and makes her way onward and upward through a bank by basically sleeping with one man after another [ not exactly what feminists today would consider female empowerment]. After casting aside both Ned Stevens (Donald Cook), who is engaged to Ann (Margaret Lindsay), as well as Ann's father (Henry Kolker), the now-notorious Lily has to deal with new president Courtland Trenholm (George Brent) -- and deal with him she does. Stanwyck is fine in a role that seems more tailored for Joan Crawford, Brent is satisfactory, and even John Wayne has a small role as another of Lily's early conquests. The main problem with the movie is that the characters are one-dimensional, and despite this being a "pre-code" movie, it's all rather dated; the ending may be unconvincing for many viewers as well. Still, it holds the attention.
Verdict: Stanwyck in man-eating mode. **1/2.