10 December 2010 | AlsExGal
The title makes it sound sensational and prurient...
... but in fact it's quite tame for the precode era. The title comes from a line that Kay's lover Larry Baldwin (Alan Dinehart) says about a helpful encouraging woman being behind every accomplishment on the street. The story revolves around the affair of wealthy married Larry Baldwin and fashion designer Natalie Upton (Kay Francis). They've been in love for several years, keeping it a secret from even their closest friends. Larry has basically been waiting for daughter Doris (Gloria Stuart) to grow up so he can ask his wife for a divorce. Larry's wife Lois has her calendar filled with the New York City social life and has no time for Larry. In fact she's somewhat put out with him because he doesn't need to work yet he continues to do so and his working is putting a kink in their joint social appearances at important parties. It seems she thinks that a man's place is in a tuxedo. Now that Doris is of age, Larry is about to ask his wife for a divorce, but there's one complicating factor of which nobody is aware. Natalie's kid brother Clarke and Larry's daughter Lois have fallen in love and plan to marry.
This movie is worth watching for several reasons. For one, you get to see Roland Young and Alan Dinehart play really nice guys. Usually these two played cads or outright villains. That's particularly true of Dinehart. Plus Kay Francis gives a very heart warming performance as a woman who is desperately trying to do what's right for everyone else and forgets to do what's right for herself as well. It's one of her more subtle roles, and she manages to breathe life into what looks like a pretty ordinary script. Finally, I really liked the relationship Larry had with his grown daughter - it struck all the right chords for portraying a dynamic that is transitioning from parent-child to adult-adult. The two had quite a friendship going.
Just don't judge all Kay Francis movies by this one. In 1932 Kay made three major motion pictures - "Trouble in Paradise", "Jewel Robbery", and "One Way Passage". This was just one of several B pictures that stars had to make back in the day in addition to their A list pictures.