FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ posted August 21st, 2017
(MGM) (Dir: Harry Beaumont)
“When Ladies Meet” is one of those “precious”, “rare” films, because of what I’ve read about its reputation and Pre-Code nature. I haven’t seen the 1941 remake with Joan Crawford~Greer Garson~Robert Taylor~Herbert Marshall, which I’ve read is quite inferior.
I loved every minute of “When Ladies Meet.” It has a sterling cast, great performances and a clever and adult plot. Its stage origins are apparent, but the story was cleverly translated to the screen. It has smart dialogue, interesting characters, etc.
Ann Harding shines in a role worthy of her huge talent. She glows every time she’s on screen. She’s so unjustly forgotten by today’s audiences, but I thank TCM and the VHS/DVD~era for having been able to discover her, rather than only reading about her and looking at her in photographs. She’s superb, divine, magnificent! Myrna Loy is also very good. It’s the second time I’ve seen them together in a great Pre-Code film: “The Animal Kingdom” (1932) is the other one. In “When Ladies Meet,” the scene where they are talking together in Myrna’s character’s bedroom and Ann realizes Myrna is her husband’s current conquest is amazingly well~done and honest. I doubt Joan Crawford and Greer Garson could have played it any better and I’ll bet the restrictions of the Production Code did not do the 1941~version any good.
Robert Montgomery is very fine too and Frank Morgan plays the philandering husband to Harding. The first time I saw Harding and Morgan together was in 1935’s “Enchanted April”, also directed by Harry Beaumont, but this time RKO, not MGM. But the show really belongs to the ladies.
The film’s delight! I’d love to see this one officially released on DVD!!
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