Review: ‘When Ladies Meet’

Second picturization of Rachael Crothers' play carries excellence in directing, acting and mounting, all combined in a carefully charted production. But being a close translation of the stage piece, it's long on talk and slim on action, with plot unfolding entirely via the dialog route.

Second picturization of Rachael Crothers’ play carries excellence in directing, acting and mounting, all combined in a carefully charted production. But being a close translation of the stage piece, it’s long on talk and slim on action, with plot unfolding entirely via the dialog route.

Joan Crawford is Mary Howard, a young authoress, admired and loved by Jimmy Lee (Robert Taylor), who launches a romance with book publisher Woodruff (Herbert Marshall). Deciding that the affair has gone far enough, Lee introduces Woodruff’s wife to Howard, with both women unaware of their triangle corners. After the wife does some frank talking on marriage and husbands, in a boudoir chat, the respective positions of wife and other women are unveiled.

Sterling performances by the cast principals do much to overcome the talky atmosphere generated by the stagey unfolding. Greer Garson is outstanding as the wife, catching major honors. Crawford is fine in the role of the writer who is confronted with a love triangle in both her new book and real life. Taylor lightly carries the assignment of the young man who sets up the dramatic climax.

Spring Byington, who was in the 1932 stage original, adds moderate portions of comedy as the flustery matron who becomes bewildered by the mixup.

When Ladies Meet

Production

M-G-M. Director Robert Z. Leonard; Producer Robert Z. Leonard, Orville O. Dull; Screenplay S.K. Lauren, Anita Loos; Camera Robert Planck; Editor Robert J. Kern; Music Bronislau Kaper; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1941. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Joan Crawford Robert Taylor Greer Garson Herbert Marshall Spring Byington Rafael Storm
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