Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Party girl Barbara Stanwyck, on the run at 4 in the morning from a rowdy admirer, meets rich playboy artist Ralph Graves, himself on the run from his own wild party with which he's become bored. He takes her home and wants to paint her as the personification of "Hope," telling her to "look through the ceiling" to the stars, but it isn't until they're actually on his penthouse balcony looking at that stars that she finds the look he wants. They fall in love but Graves' family objects to her and his mother tries to pay her to leave. After a teary scene, Stanwyck agrees to run off to Havana with Lowell Sherman, an older friend of Graves' but fate intervenes with some help from Stanwyck's roomie (Marie Prevost) and a reasonably happy ending seems in store. This early Frank Capra melodrama has some stylish directorial touches here and there, and Stanwyck and Graves work well together. A rainy night scene in which Graves, to Stanwyck's surprise, does not press his advantage plays out nicely. Prevost provides some snappy comic relief--when Stanwyck tells her she's eating too much, she replies, "You can’t weigh sex appeal." Ironically, in real life Prevost died a few years later of malnutrition after trying to lose weight. [TCM]

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