Saturday, April 19, 2008


Irene Dunne is a singer who marries a rich but weak and vapid lad (Phillips Holmes) against his father's wishes. When Dad (Lionel Atwill) finds out, he threatens to cut the boy off; Holmes, having no money or inner resources of his own, goes back home, leaving Dunne alone--and, unknown to him, pregnant. Atwill refuses to change his mind and Holmes kills himself. Dunne has her baby and takes some rather unsavory jobs to survive, but Atwill has the baby taken away from her. Twenty years later, her son (Douglas Walton), now a WWI solider, behaves like a cad and creates a scene at the French cafe that Dunne runs. She discovers his identity and, when he accidentally shoots the angry father of a girl he had dallied with, Dunne tries to take the blame (without telling him she's his mother). A fairly straightforward "mother love" melodrama, like STELLA DALLAS or THE SIN OF MADELON CLAUDET. It's apparently very much like the more well-known MADAME X, though I've never seen that film. Dunne is good, though she is aged a bit too much, looking much older than 45 or 50 in the last half. Also with Una Merkel and C. Henry Gordon. [TCM]

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