Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The title of this movie and its star, May Robson, may have led folks to believe that it was a sequel to Frank Capra's hit LADY FOR A DAY, a cute sentimental comedy based on a Damon Runyon story about a poor and elderly apple seller who is turned into a grand lady by her buddies on the streets in order to impress her visiting daughter. But this movie doesn't have Capra or the wit and charm of the earlier film. Here, the homeless Robson is arrested for bar brawling and "sentenced" to an old ladies home. Weeks later, as a Mother's Day stunt, notorious fan dancer Carole Lombard is prodded by her manager (Arthur Hohl) to adopt a mother for publicity, and she picks Robson. After a tentative start, Robson is soon acting like a real mother for Lombard, getting rid of her manager for swindling her out of money, counseling her to take singing and acting lessons, and sharing her gambling winnings. Soon, however, Lombard, frustrated by her lack of a career future, goes after rich lawyer Roger Pryor, who has been Robson's caretaker. It turns out that Robson was the love of Pryor's father's life. Because Robson assumes Lombard is just being a gold digger, she tries to stop the arrangement, and there are more complications before the predictable happy ending. After a good first half-hour setting up the characters, the movie bogs down in melodrama and acting problems--overacting on the part of the women and lackluster acting on the part of the men, the one exception being Walter Connolly as a judge who keeps running into Robson in his court. This winds up far from Capra and Runyon territory, to its detriment. [TCM]

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