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Inspiration

(1931 b 76)

En: 5 Ed: 4

      Raymond Delval (Lewis Stone) and three artists toast their inspiration Yvonne (Greta Garbo). Coutant (John Miljan) still loves her, but Yvonne says it is over. Yvonne meets Andre Martel (Robert Montgomery), who is 24, and goes home with him. He carries her on the stairs; they see the Eiffel Tower and kiss. They have breakfast in the country. Lulu (Marjorie Rambeau) says Norman went to prison for Yvonne and warns her Andre may find out about her. A couple with young Madeleine (Joan Marsh) visit Andre. He won’t let Yvonne come in and gets her to leave. Yvonne has her servant Martha lie so she won’t have to see a man. Andre comes in and kisses Yvonne. Vignaud comes in and reminds Yvonne he is paying for the house, causing Andre to leave. Yvonne goes to Andre to explain; but Andre says he can’t go on. Yvonne says she gave him up. Andre says he has no money to take care of her, but they make up.
      Yvonne poses for sculptor Coutant. Friends gossip about her. She joins them, and Andre comes in. Lulu talks of Yvonne’s past men. Andre assumes she lied but learns it is true. He rejects her and leaves. Yvonne slaps Lulu and cries. On the street Andre ignores Yvonne, and he becomes engaged to Madeleine. In a café Yvonne sees Andre and avoids him. She has no money, and he pays. Andre takes her out and sees her poor place but does not stay. Yvonne lives in the country and tells her friends it is Andre’s idea. Raymond offers her money, but she declines. Andre comes in, and the friends leave. He tells Yvonne he is going to Algiers. Yvonne realizes he is going to marry.
      Raymond gives Liane (Karen Morley) money for a year and leaves her; but he finds she jumped to her death. Andre reads of it and goes to Yvonne after midnight to ask for his letters. Norman is out of prison, and Yvonne says he asked to marry her. Andre shows her the news and says he won’t leave her. Yvonne tells Norman she will meet him to marry. Andre hopes to work in South America and take Yvonne with him; but in the final scene she writes him a letter to marry a nice girl and have a good life, remembering her.
      This drama explores relationships that censorship in the later thirties and forties would not allow. The double standard survives as Yvonne realizes her past would ruin his career. Yet she shows her love is true, because she cares more about him than herself in letting him go.

Copyright © 2016 by Sanderson Beck

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