Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


LADY OF THE NIGHT (1925). Director: Monta Bell.

Norma Shearer is excellent playing dual roles (although there is no reference to the two characters actually looking alike) in this touching silent drama which segues back and froth from high to low society. Molly Helmer is the poor daughter of a convict, while Florence Banning is the daughter of a wealthy judge. Molly has an "understanding" with a clunky [if kind-hearted] kind of boyfriend "Chunky" Dunn (George K. Arthur) but longs for a more romantic relationship, which she finds with David Page (Malcolm McGregor). Unfortunately, Page meets and falls in love with Florence, and sees Molly just as a friend. Florence, however, upon meeting Molly, immediately grasps the truth of the other woman's feelings. Both women turn out to be much more alike than they are different in the poignant conclusion. TCM presented this with an excellent new musical score.

Verdict: Another home run for Norma. ***.

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