Stanwyck plays Nan, who helps a gang rob a bank. (The crooks include Harold Huber and a rather underused Lyle Talbot.) Before and during her prison term, Nan attracts the interest of crusader David Slade (Preston Foster), a preacher and prospective politician who knew her when they were younger. The clean-cut David can't help falling in love with Nan, despite her unsavory background.
This is mostly a "women in prison" film, with the prison at times seeming more like an unruly sorority house than a women's penal institution. The women decorate their rooms with furniture, dolls, and photos; one woman even has a little dog with her in the prison!
Stanwyck is always interesting, even though she isn't always likeable; prison does little to reform her, and when the situation arises, she immediately agrees to help her old pals in a breakout scheme. She's ultimately overwhelmed by David's love and faith, but one has to wonder if she'll be able to stick to the straight and narrow.
Stanwyck's fellow inmates include friend Lillian Roth (who strangely croons a tune to a photo of Joe E. Brown) and enemy Dorothy Burgess. Ruth Donnelly, a welcome face in any movie, is a kindly prison matron -- who walks around with a bird perched on her shoulder! The film is definitely a pre-Code, with the inmates including a madam (Maude Eburne) and a mannish, cigar-smoking lesbian.
Preston Foster is billed in this as Preston S. Foster. He's very young and earnest, and he seems less assured than he would appear in films just a handful of years later. Some of that might be due to his role as a sincere do-gooder, but I suspect it was also due to his relative lack of experience.
Howard Bretherton and William Keighley. It was photographed by John Seitz. The film runs a quick 69 minutes.
LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT is part of the four-film Forbidden Hollywood Vol. 5 pre-Code collection. The print is quite nice, with just a few speckles here and there. I've previously reviewed another film in the set, MISS PINKERTON (1932).
This film also had a VHS release as part of the Forbidden Hollywood line in 1998.