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Strangers May Kiss

(1931 b 81')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the novel by Ursula Parrott, a woman loves a traveling journalist and foregoes marriage, becoming promiscuous when he leaves her.

Lisbeth Corbin (Norma Shearer) falls in love with foreign correspondent Alan Harlow (Neil Hamilton) and doesn't want to marry, saying no to her dearest friend Steve (Robert Montgomery). At a nightclub her happily married aunt Celia Corbin (Irene Rich) sees her husband Andrew Corbin (Hale Hamilton) with another woman. Lisbeth and Steve take Celia home and head back to the party, Lisbeth saying that Celia will never get over it. Steve discovers that Celia jumped out the window.

Lisbeth tells Geneva (Marjorie Rambeau) that Alan has been gone two months. A drunk Steve calls Lisbeth from Boston. Alan arrives, and Lisbeth asks where he's been. He says he didn't want to hurt her and that he likes freedom. Alan tells Lisbeth he is going away for two years and asks her to come along. Geneva advises her to wait. Andrew comes in with Steve to plead for him; but Lisbeth lectures him and leaves for the boat.

In a Mexican village Lisbeth is happy with Alan. He tells her he has a wife in Paris but says it's not important. He gets a telegram to leave for Panama and buys Lisbeth a train ticket to New York. She is in love with him and wants to go with him; but he says it was a bad mistake. She says he was fair and square, wishing him well.

In Europe Lisbeth dances with men and laughs. Steve arrives and is shocked, saying there are no good women. Lisbeth tells him she loves wallowing in an orgy. She gets a telegram from Alan that he has a divorce in Paris and hopes to marry her. Lisbeth packs for Paris; but Count de Bazan, not wanting her to go, makes leaving his villa difficult. Lisbeth gets Steve to take her in his rented car to her place in Paris, showing him the telegram. She calls Alan; but he says he's not coming. Steve says men mix a lot of things, but they "take their women straight." Lisbeth visits Alan, and he says he heard about her. She says she never expected to see him again. His letters from China never reached her. He calls her promiscuous. She replies that when they met, she had saved herself for the man she loves. She says freedom is empty, and he'll find out because he loves her. Steve asks Lisbeth to marry him; but she says he is not in love with her. In New York Lisbeth with Steve at the theater sees Alan, who tells her he is in business now. She says he was right in Paris and that he will always be the only one, going into the play with Steve. Alan comes to Lisbeth, and she leaves with him.

After experimenting with freedom and romances, Lisbeth and Alan realize they love each other.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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