20 May 2019 | HotToastyRag
Melvyn Douglas as Ashley Wilkes
If you think Joan Crawford is gorgeous, you're in much better shape than I was to watch The Gorgeous Hussy, since she plays the title character. Despite what the title leads you to believe, this is a movie about President Andrew Jackson. Lionel Barrymore plays the beloved president, and he puts his whole heart into the many speeches the script provides. Beulah Bondi plays Rachel Jackson, and in case you don't know your history, I won't tell you anymore, except that she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1937.
Where does Joan Crawford come in, and why is the movie named after her? She's Jackson's niece, and she's desperately in love with a much older senator, Melvyn Douglas. When he sends her away for her own good, she throws herself into a relationship with the second man who flirts with her, Robert Taylor. A very young, gawky James Stewart is the first man, but she doesn't want anything to do with him. Robert is handsome and flirtatious, but he's also a sailor and therefore a little untrustworthy.
Joining the cast is Joan's then-husband Franchot Tone, Louis Calhern, and Gene Lockhart. The film alternates between a political drama and a love triangle between Joan, Melvyn, and whichever guy Joan is flirting with at the moment, hence the title. If you know your trivia about Gone With the Wind, you'll know that Melvyn Douglas was on the short-list for Ashley Wilkes, and after you watch this movie, it's easy to imagine him running circles around Leslie Howard's performance. He would have been a wonderful Ashley Wilkes, and if you agree, rent this movie for the next best thing.