31 July 2007 | bkoganbing
Sadie Was A Lady
I'd have to describe Sadie McKee as both the typical Joan Crawford vehicle and the typical Franchot Tone vehicle. The two of them who were husband and wife when the film was made are perfectly cast in roles that typified their images in the Thirties.
Crawford is the daughter of a cook on the sumptuous palatial Long Island estate where Tone is the young heir and a lawyer by trade. To earn a few extra bucks Crawford occasionally helps mom out serving at formal meals.
At one of those meals she hears Tone disparaging her sweetheart Gene Raymond who was caught in a petty theft. Tone makes a big point in saying we can't give people like these help because they're no good. Crawford throws a fit and runs to Raymond.
She almost marries Raymond, but he runs out on her for Esther Ralston. In New York working as a nightclub cigarette girl she runs into Edward Arnold who is a millionaire with a severe drinking problem. No doubt caused by drinking a lot of rotgut liquor during recently repealed Prohibition. And wouldn't you know it, Tone is his lawyer.
So Sadie has her three men, give you one guess who she winds up with in the end. You'd probably guess right, but let's say it's a character altering experience for all.
Sadie McKee is probably a good example of the Joan Crawford shop girl before she became a hardened creature like Crystal Allen in The Women. As for Franchot Tone, MGM just loved casting him as rich men in a tuxedo, probably because he looked so darn good in them. The only way either of them escaped type casting was as they got older they varied their parts due to age. Crawford was ever the film star, even in some of the horror flicks she did in the sixties. Tone went right into television and worked steady right up to his death.
Sadie McKee however is a good opportunity to see them both young and at the height of their fame. Also note the Nacio Herb Brown-Arthur Freed ballad All I Do Is Dream Of You comes from Sadie McKee.