18 March 2016 | MartinHafer
A very unsatisfying Pre-Code melodrama.
Dr. Monica (Kay Francis) is a successful Obstetrician and is really, really wrapped up in her job--so much so that when her husband, John (Warren William), goes off to Europe on business for several months, Monica stays home. It's obvious that there are problems in this relationship but Monica doesn't know how deep they are, as John has been having an affair with Mary (Jean Muir)! When Mary ends up pregnant, Monica treats her friend wonderfully...not realizing that Mary is a back-stabbing tramp. But, when Monica finally learns the truth, Mary is in labor and Monica is forced to deliver the baby. However, although Monica is hurt and angry, she's also saint-like and eventually plans to let John go so that he can wed Mary. However, Mary and her friends realize that John really does love Monica and her plan cannot be allowed to occur. So what will they do instead? Yep, leave the baby with Monica, kill yourself so you won't be the one to break up the marriage AND have Monica NEVER tell John the baby is biologically his!!!
This was one of the last Pre-Code films released by Hollywood. It debuted in June, 1934 and the new, tougher code went into effect the following month. As a result, the film was soon pulled from circulation and not re-shown for some time due to its plot. Adultery was NOT to be allowed in films unless it was severely punished and Monica and John's 'modern' sense of morality was definitely NOT allowed Post-Code. For me, however, it's not the morality of the film that's a major issue but the utter ridiculous way that Monica behaves. She is just too understanding, too nice and too unreal. I would have loved to have seen her enraged or downright hostile...instead she's too good and sweet to be real. And, the ending, while satisfying in a Hollywood way, is also completely ridiculous. A real disappointment.