Movie Mirrors Index

The Secret of Madame Blanche

(1933 b 84')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Martin Brown's play, a singer marries a gentleman who depends on his father, and she loses her child to this grandfather.

Sally (Irene Dunne) goes to England and sings. In the fog she meets Leonard St. John (Phillips Holmes), who takes her to dinner. They are married, but he says he lost his money. Leonard's father Aubrey St. John (Lionel Atwill) learns they are married and says he won't provide money. At Monte Carlo Leonard loses gambling, and Sally is told that she is pregnant. Leonard tells her he is going home to his father. Aubrey tells his son he must divorce Sally. Leonard writes a letter he can never see her again. Aubrey learns that Leonard shot himself, and Sally sees it in the newspaper. Aubrey reads a letter that Sally will have a child, and he hires a detective to follow her. Sally plays with her son and goes out to work as a woman comes in. Aubrey and his lawyer arrive and take the child. Sally sings in a café and learns that Aubrey got a court order. She cries she will get him back. Sally calls on Aubrey and begs to see her baby; but Aubrey refuses to let her see him again.

Twenty years later in 1918 Leonard St. John Jr. (Douglas Walton) is in the war and sneaks out to see Eloise Duval (Jean Parker). He persuades her to sneak away from home to go to Paris. Leonard asks Sally for a room and says he has a wife. He gets drunk, and Eloise wants to go home. Leonard quarrels with Sally about the room, and he is knocked out by a waiter. Sally gives Eloise money to go home, and she tells Sally his name. Sally cries over him, and he wakes in her room. Leonard has a low opinion of women, because his father always blamed his mother, whom he says is dead. Eloise's father Duval (Mitchell Lewis) looks for Leonard and fights him. Leonard shoots him. Sally takes the gun and tells Leonard to leave.

Aubrey asks Leonard about his case, and Leonard admits he did it although Sally confessed. Leonard wants to tell the truth, but his father says to follow her story. In the trial Eloise testifies that her father would not attack Sally. Leonard says he left earlier. Sally testifies, and Aubrey recognizes her. Sally says she shot Duval in self-defense. The prosecutor (C. Henry Gordon) says that Sally wiped off his fingerprints and is protecting her son. Leonard confesses that he killed Duval in self-defense, and he embraces Sally, saying that Aubrey was wrong. Sally visits Leonard in jail, and he says he is studying and wants to go to America with her after the two years.

This tragic melodrama hinges on an English gentleman who does not know how to work and abrogates his life to his father. Yet despite her long absence from his life, Sally becomes a positive influence for her son.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index