The Strange Love of Molly Louvain

Overview

Molly Louvain (Ann Dvorak) is a young woman working as a clerk at a hotel. The product of a broken home, abandoned by her mother at a young age, Molly seeks a better life for herself and hopes to be a better mother than the one she had. And she's attractive enough to draw men to her easily: Jimmy (Richard Cromwell), a young and naive bellboy, who truly loves her; Nick Grant (Leslie Fenton), an tough guy with big plans, not all of them legal, who is out for a good time; and Ralph Rogers (Donald Dillaway), an ...
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Overview

Molly Louvain (Ann Dvorak) is a young woman working as a clerk at a hotel. The product of a broken home, abandoned by her mother at a young age, Molly seeks a better life for herself and hopes to be a better mother than the one she had. And she's attractive enough to draw men to her easily: Jimmy (Richard Cromwell), a young and naive bellboy, who truly loves her; Nick Grant (Leslie Fenton), an tough guy with big plans, not all of them legal, who is out for a good time; and Ralph Rogers (Donald Dillaway), an upper-class playboy, whom she hopes to marry. When she's abandoned by Ralph -- who doesn't know that she's pregnant -- Molly takes up with Nick, who leads her into a life of petty crime and two-bit thievery. She also has a daughter, whom she decides to protect by putting her in foster care. Meanwhile, her life with Nick draws her ever further into serious crime, culminating with the fatal shooting of a police officer. Identified as a suspect in the shooting, she goes into hiding with Jimmy, masquerading as husband and wife, in a rooming house where she meets Scotty Cornell (Lee Tracy), a cynical reporter who thinks he knows all there is to know about women, including Molly. They're drawn to each other despite her fear that Scotty will figure out who she is -- but he doesn't until it's too late, setting up a trap that gets Molly caught by the police.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Michael Curtiz's The Strange Love of Molly Louvain was part of Warner Bros.' pre-Code output, before the strict enforcement of the Production Code "cleaned" up Hollywood's output -- but despite its credits and pedigree, this picture is not in a league with, say, Alfred E. Green's Baby Face or william Wellman's Wild Boys Of The Road (both 1933). Curtiz does prove with this picture, in case anyone needs the point made, that he could make something worth watching out of very little, but The Strange Love of Molly Louvain still doesn't amount to very much, especially in its first half. Adapted from a play called Tinsel Girl, the movie plods along as a cautionary tale about a young woman (Ann Dvorak) living and loving too freely for its first 30 minutes. Across that time, it seems little more than a predictable morality tale with a few inspired touches, and with some annoyingly inexplicable anomalies, such as Molly, who has seemed relatively straight and honest in her persona up to that point (even if she is living a life of dubious morality), suddenly talking and acting like a career criminal, and successfully evading the pursuing police in a stolen car. Then, after a quick change of hair color, Dvorak's character meets Lee Tracy's Scotty Cornell, and from the moment Tracy comes on the screen, the pacing kicks into high-gear, the dialogue acquires all of the snap that it's been missing up to that point, and the characters that we've seen actually become interesting -- Dvorak's Molly Louvain manifests and introspective nature that will lead to her capture and transformation, and that of Tracy's Scotty.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/8/2009
  • UPC: 883316225448
  • Original Release: 1932
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Time: 1:13:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 58,707

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ann Dvorak Molly Louvain
Lee Tracy Scotty Cornell
Richard Cromwell Jimmy
Guy Kibbee Pop
Leslie Fenton Nick Grant
Frank McHugh Skeets
Evelyn Knapp Sally
Charles B. Middleton Capt. Slade
Donald Dilloway Ralph
Thomas E. Jackson
Ben Alexander College Boy
Harry Beresford Taxi Driver
Maurice Black Sally's Pal
William Burress Policeman
George Chandler
Rychard Cramer Detective
Mary Doran Dance Hall Girl
Hank Mann Harley
Claire McDowell Mrs. Schiller
Willard Robertson Sgt. Murdoch
Harold Waldridge Bellboy
C. Henry Gordon Martin
Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
James Borby Editor
Erwin S. Gelsey Screenwriter
Brown Holmes Screenwriter
Robert Kurrle Cinematographer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
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