Lady of the Night

Overview

Norma Shearer was very much an up-and-coming young actress when she played a dual role in this MGM drama. Molly, a girl of the streets Shearer, is getting out of reform school at the same time that Florence also Shearer is graduating from a finishing school. While at a dance hall, Molly has a run-in with a lusty young man, but she is rescued by David, a young inventor whose workshop is nearby Malcolm McGregor. As a result, Molly becomes David's friend, and she is the one who insists that David sell his invention ...
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Overview

Norma Shearer was very much an up-and-coming young actress when she played a dual role in this MGM drama. Molly, a girl of the streets Shearer, is getting out of reform school at the same time that Florence also Shearer is graduating from a finishing school. While at a dance hall, Molly has a run-in with a lusty young man, but she is rescued by David, a young inventor whose workshop is nearby Malcolm McGregor. As a result, Molly becomes David's friend, and she is the one who insists that David sell his invention -- a safecracking device -- to the banking industry instead of to a gang of crooks who have offered him a percentage of their take. Through the bankers, David meets Florence, and soon both she and Molly are in love with him. David believes that Florence is the right girl for him, but when she discovers the existence of Molly, she insists that Molly was first. Molly, realizing that Florence would be a better match for David, returns to Chunky, a young man who, like her, comes from the street George K. Arthur. Shearer's stand-in for this picture was a very ambitious young starlet by the name of Lucille LeSueur -- better known later on as Joan Crawford.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Lady of the Night is remembered today (if at all) for being the big breakthrough film that really made Norma Shearer a star. It's a grand vehicle for Shearer, giving her the opportunity to play two different roles, and she grabs hold of this opportunity and runs with it; if she's a little raw in her acting at times, there's still a youthful energy that makes up for this minor deficit. More importantly, Shearer doesn't take the easy way out with Florence, the rich girl; there's more depth here than the part demands, largely due to the manner in which Shearer plays her, as a woman who wants something, even though on the surface life has given her everything she needs. Her Molly is even more impressive, partially due to the writing, but also due to Shearer's immense ambition combined with vulnerability. The actress also looks glorious, lovingly filmed under director Monta Bell's careful guidance and often appearing simply luminous. While not a classic, Lady is still more than just a vehicle for the leading lady. The story is no great shakes, but Bell handles it with sensitivity and a genuine feeling for emotion; these are people who are all filled with an emptiness and a desire, a longing for something, and Bell presents their stories in an affecting and touching manner. If things occasionally become a bit too melodramatic, that's the fault of the story, not the director. On the whole, Lady of the Night is worth catching, especially for fans of the star.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/19/2010
  • UPC: 883316227343
  • Original Release: 1925
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:26:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 43,629

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Norma Shearer Florence Banning
Malcolm McGregor David
George K. Arthur Chunky
Fred Esmelton Judge Banning
Dale Fuller Miss Carr
Lew Harvey Chris
Betty Morrisey Genie
Technical Credits
Monta Bell Director
Andre Barlatier Cinematographer
Ralph Dawson Editor
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Alice Duer Miller Screenwriter
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