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When Ladies Meet

(1933 b 85')

En: 6 Ed: 7

In the first adaptation of the play by Rachel Crothers, a novelist in love with her married publisher is forced by her old boyfriend to confront his wife to show that her latest novel is not true to life.

Novelist Mary (Myrna Loy) refuses to marry Jimmy Lee (Robert Montgomery) and goes off with her publisher Rogers Woodruf (Frank Morgan) to discuss her last chapter. Rogers tells Jimmy, "If business doesn't come first, it doesn't come at all." Jimmy criticizes her latest book about a married man as untrue. Mary asks her friend Bridget (Alice Brady) to invite her and Rogers to her house and not tell Jimmy. The scatter-brained Bridget says it's a hard age for a good woman to have fun and mistakenly gives Jimmy several hints. Mary discusses her book with Roger, and he asks her to have the courage of their love. Mary worries about his wife. Jimmy climbs in the window and mentions Rogers' wife Clare. Jimmy plays golf with Clare Woodruf (Ann Harding).

Bridget shows Mary and Rogers her house. Jimmy, pretending to be a famous author, calls for an appointment with Rogers. Rogers kisses Mary but has to leave to meet the author. Jimmy brings Clare to Bridget's, saying he wants to make Mary jealous. Clare tells Mary she liked her book about a girl because it was true. Jimmy asks Mary if she loves Rogers, and she says she does. Bridget is frightened by lightning, and so Jimmy and Clare plan to stay overnight. Clare tells Mary that Jimmy would make a good husband. Mary wants a woman's view of her latest book and tells Clare the story of a woman who loves a married man, lives with him to make sure of him, and then talks with his wife. Clare sees the wife's view more than the other woman's and tells Mary that Rogers has had mistresses but always came back to her. Mary asks Clare what she would do if the other woman told her. Clare would hate her and questions whether she could love him. Mary says that Clare sounds like Rogers. Clare asks Mary what Rogers' views are, and Mary says he loves her. Rogers comes in to Mary's room and then sees Clare. Clare tells Mary who she is. Clare asks Rogers if the man should say who he wants to be with, but he puts it off.

Jimmy tells Rogers he suspects he is not on the level with Mary and threatens him if he hurts her. Mary tells Clare she waited until she knew Rogers loves her. Clare and Mary admire each other. Clare tells Rogers she is giving him up with her blessing. Rogers tells Mary he did not mean for this to happen, and Mary realizes it is temporary. Bridget learns who Clare is, and Mary tells Bridget she is ashamed. Clare tells Roger this is the last time, because she saw what it did to Mary. Jimmy tells Rogers to get back with his kids and that two great women think well of him. Bridget reprimands Jimmy and goes back to bed with Walter. In the final scene Jimmy reads the newspaper and laughs with Mary.

This story excellently portrays the women's viewpoints in the usual romantic triangle of a married man with a mistress. Jimmy, the honest and faithful lover of Mary, senses Rogers is false and contrives a way to prove this and that Mary's novel is not realistic.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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