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Let Us Be Gay

(1930 b 79')

En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on the play by Rachel Crothers, a woman divorces her philandering husband and later comes between him and a second marriage.

Kitty Brown (Norma Shearer) tries to keep the children from waking her husband Bob Brown (Rod La Rocque). His neglected mistress Helen comes over, tells Kitty about them, and leaves. Bob says it's over and asks forgiveness; but Kitty tells him to go.

Three years later at the home of Mrs. Bouccicault (Marie Dressler) Bob goes swimming with Diane (Sally Eilers), her grand-daughter. Wallace (Tyrell Davis) reads to Madge Livingston (Hedda Hopper). Kitty arrives for a visit, having left her children with a nurse in town. Mrs. Bouccicault has a man for her to keep him away from Diane. Kitty meets Townley (Gilbert Emery) and Bruce (Raymond Hackett), pretending she does not know Bob. Madge objects to Kitty's cynical talk about marriage. Kitty asks Bob not to tell others about them. Wallace tells Madge that Kitty amuses him. Madge, Diane, and Mrs. Bouccicault argue. Kitty entertains the men at the piano. Bruce wants to talk things out with Diane, and Bob wants to talk with Kitty. Townley wants to see Kitty. Mrs. Bouccicault sends Kitty to get Bob away from Diane. Bob asks Kitty about the children, saying she has changed. She has been leading a gay life in Paris.

Mrs. Bouccicault organizes two tables of bridge. Bruce tells tipsy Diane to stop drinking. Diane asks Kitty not to take Bob away from her. Diane asks Kitty for advice, and Kitty says she would marry Bob. Later Townley whistles and comes to Kitty's room. He hides in the bathroom as Bob comes in and tells Kitty he adores her and wants to marry her again; but she no longer trusts him. Bob discovers Townley, and Wallace comes in to read a poem. Bob goes out. Mrs. Bouccicault comes in to tell Kitty that Diane is going to marry Bob.

In the morning Diane tells Bruce she is not crazy about him. Kitty drops her napkin for Wallace to pick up; they make a date for Friday. Madge takes Wallace for a walk. Townley invites Kitty to his yacht, and she says Friday. Mrs. Bouccicault criticizes Kitty, but she says it is her affair. Mrs. Bouccicault sent for Kitty's children, and Bob greets them. Diane learns that Bob was married to Kitty. Diane says Kitty can have Bob; Kitty says she doesn't want him. Bob and Kitty agree to be friends; in the final scene Kitty asks Bob to take her back, and they embrace.

This romantic comedy suggests that a woman can also adopt the playful life-style popular with men in order to allure men and find fulfillment. Mrs. Bouccicault cleverly rescues her daughter from Bob.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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