Sadie McKee is the Cinderella theme all over again, plus an s.a. angle through the stellar player of the titular role encountering three major romances in the persons of the featured male trio in support – Franchot Tone, Gene Raymond and Edward Arnold.
Basically it’s the story [from the Liberty magazine serial by Vina Delmar] of the housemaid (Joan Crawford) who marries the boss of the manor, but not until after he comes humbly to her, and after she has experienced turbulent affairs with the other two.
That her major attachment to Arnold is obviously a mercenary marriage is sufficiently well built up to make it almost sympathetic, in view of the goading of the supercilious young master (Tone) of the house hold in which Sadie’s mother is the cook.
Raymond is cast as the No. 1 sweetie who, according to Tone, is a no-good guy, but who is the major romance interest even after he runs out with a vaudeville single (well played by Esther Ralston).
The playing is expert throughout, so much so that in its realism it perhaps makes the star suffer a bit, particularly at the hands of Arnold whose bluff, constantly inebriated performance almost steals the picture.