Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tonight's Movie: A Lost Lady (1934) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Barbara Stanwyck shines as A LOST LADY (1934), released last month by the Warner Archive.

In this enjoyable 61-minute soap opera Stanwyck plays Marian, who loses her fiance (Phillip Reed) in shocking fashion less than 48 hours before their wedding.

Marian convalesces from the tremendous emotional upheaval in the country, filmed at scenic Lake Arrowhead, where she meets a kindly older gentleman, Dan (Frank Morgan); eventually they agree to marry and the union is a happy success despite the fact that Marian doesn't love her husband.

Marian turns down the romantic overtures of her husband's young associate Neil (Lyle Talbot), putting him back on the straight and narrow, but she has a more difficult time when arrogant Frank (Ricardo Cortez) crash lands in her yard and in her heart.

Frank pursues Marian despite knowing she's married, and she eventually agrees to go away with him, but life -- and a dawning realization of what's really important -- intervenes.

I quite enjoyed this fast-paced story, one of the "women's pictures" so popular in the early '30s. Stanwyck carries a majority of the film's scenes, managing to be likeable for most of the film, though I did become a bit exasperated by her choices in the middle part of the movie's hour, which threaten to ruin multiple lives.

It's somewhat unique seeing Morgan in a leading man role, and he's so sympathetic that he makes Cortez look all the more a selfish cad. I enjoy Cortez in many films but here I just wanted him to go away!

Talbot has a particularly good part as someone who gets over his crush on Marian and matures into a better man and a supportive colleague for her husband.

A LOST LADY was directed by Alfred E. Green and Phil Rosen and filmed by Sid Hickox. Stanwyck's gowns were designed by Orry-Kelly.

Dennis O'Keefe can be briefly glimpsed dancing in the first scene, and look for future cowboy star Bill Elliott sitting behind Stanwyck at a polo match.

The Warner Archive DVD is slightly soft but on the whole a good-looking print without major defects. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


Blogger Kristina said...

This looks good, don't know how I've missed out on it! Funny in last couple days I saw Lyle Talbot in KLONDIKE and Frank Morgan in THE MONSTER MAKER. Morgan could be quite the elegant romantic lead, just off the top of my head: WHEN LADIES MEET, for e.g. or the inspector in SECRETS OF THE FRENCH POLICE.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That is funny! I'd forgotten about WHEN LADIES MEET, that was a good film. SECRETS OF THE FRENCH POLICE is in my "watch" stack!

Always glad to see Lyle Talbot -- my dad tells the story of seeing him on stage as a kid which I think of whenever I see him.

I think you'd like it, it's very enjoyable except for wishing Stanwyck would tell Cortez to get lost! LOL. Stanwyck's elegant fairy tale lifestyle with Morgan is fun to watch unfold.

Best wishes,

1:16 PM  

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