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  • This is an interesting 1936 film starring Constance Bennett, Janet Gaynor, Loretta Young, Paul Lukas, Don Ameche, and Tyrone Power. Set in Budapest, it concerns three young women who get an apartment together. All wish for love and happiness but soon learn that the course of true love never does run smooth.

    And neither does the course of stardom, as the featured stars in this film would soon be replaced by a younger crowd. The Bennett-Lukas affair and Gaynor's adventures with Don Ameche and her magician boss take center stage, while Loretta Young's romance with Tyrone Power gets short shrift. The film provides an excellent showcase for Don Ameche, Power, and Young, all of whom would take over the star roster at Fox within the next two years. Power is flawlessly gorgeous and is delightful with Young. This obviously was not lost on 20th Century Fox as the studio would star the two in four films over the next three years. Bennett and Gaynor were two very early stars, and by 1941, Bennett was doing second leads; Gaynor (who was dating Power) had her last steady work in films in 1938.

    "Ladies in Love" has a great feel to it with its Budapest background, European-based stories being so popular in the '30s, and there are some wonderful performances. Bennett is beautiful and glamorous as the one who's been around the block and Gaynor petite and lively as she carries on a love/hate relationship with Ameche.

    Simone Simon has a role as a kittenish young woman who arrives at Lukas' apartment as a cousin by marriage. She looks like she's about 16, but in reality, the actress was 25. However, she is playing someone who is in school, and I found her relationship with Lukas a little disconcerting. She was probably supposed to be 18.

    All in all, an entertaining film signaling a changing of the guard at Fox.
  • An early example of Darryl Zanuck's favorite formula: three young ladies share an apartment [see THREE BLIND MICE, MOON OVER MIAMI, HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE, THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING]. This time the setting for their various romantic difficulties is Budapest. Squeaky-voiced Janet Gaynor gets top billing as a poor girl who hawks neckties on streetcorners but also feeds rabbits for young doctor Don Ameche and still has time to perform valet duty for self-absorbed magician Alan Mowbray. Over-eager Loretta Young, on the other hand, obsesses over wealthy nobleman Tyrone Power. As a sophisticated gold-digger, Constance Bennett has the best role, allowing her to underplay effectively. Her plot thread involves an affair with wealthy Paul Lukas, complicated by the unexpected arrival of Simone Simon [who is introduced as a nymphet in a sailor suit]. With all these comic/romantic/tragic ingredients [poison is also involved], this stew is not completely digestible. However, despite awkward shifts in tone and rather flat lighting, it remains interesting as a showcase for a variety of film personalities, some on the rise and some not. Ironically, the most striking performance comes from a subsidiary character: Wilfrid Lawson, who implies an entire world of sophistication in his few scenes as an aging playboy.
  • Just an addition to other comments; this film while definitely Hollywood has a European feel to it. There is a definite desperate,cynical air to it that would make you think it's director was a continental director transplanted to the US. I checked and Griffith is from Virginia. However, he was educated in Europe-this of course proves nothing but maybe he was influenced by familiarity with European film. Anyway this "feel" I get from the film makes it more interesting to me. But whatever it is worth seeing just for the great cast!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ... because you just might get it! It's rather predictable, yet interesting. Three women combine finances so they can rent a spacious apartment in a wealthy part of Budapest and use that apartment as a jumping off point so that they all can get their individual wishes. Constance Bennett plays Yoli, a woman with sophisticated tastes and ways, but no money. Loretta Young plays Susie Schmidt, a girl in the chorus of a local show, and Janet Gaynor plays Baroness Martha, a woman of noble blood whose family lost everything in WWI, so now she has to live off selling neckties on the street along with a hodgepodge of odd jobs.

    One of the first thing the women do is practice an old superstition. They sit down in whatever room of the apartment they happen to be in, count the corners of the room, and then say their wish aloud. Yoli asks for a rich husband who will buy her jewels and furs, Susie asks to be independent of men with a shop of her own. You can detect a trace of bitterness in her voice as she says this, as though she has been burned by romance before and often. Finally, in the bathroom, Martha says she is going to ask for the impossible - a good home, a husband to take care of, and children.

    Their first visitor is John Barta, a wealthy man whose work takes him all over the world, but for now he is on vacation in Budapest and keeping company with the seemingly aloof Yoli. Along with Barta is Karl Lanyi (Tyrone Power). One smile from him and it's time for family values for Susie. Her Independence Day spirit evaporates before your eyes. As for Martha, she gets a job to replace all of her part time jobs by being the assistant to an illusionist, Alan Mowbrey as the very amusing Paul Sandor who can't tell when he is performing and when he is having an actual conversation.

    By my last paragraph do you think you can tell how this will turn out? I will tell you now you do not! Watch and find out. I will tell you that every girl get's their spoken wish, but not the desires of their heart. Only Martha winds up truly happy. I've always said if you are going to watch the films of 1936 you better be prepared to deal with the values of 1936, so the lesson here seems to be that the only honorable ambition of any girl is for a traditional family. Just wanting a rich man for what he can give you or a career so you don't have to deal with a man in the first place is just not honorable. Not my words or beliefs, but ideas coming from a script written almost 80 years ago that Fox revamped from various angles from time to time over the next three decades.

    An interesting aside - Fox's past, present, and future are all here. Loretta Young was brought over from Zanuck's 20th Century films to do this, and she wound up a big star. Don Ameche is fifth billed, but will wind up being one of Fox's biggest stars with that charm that was just so unique to him. Tyrone Power? He's seventh billed and one of the few assets left over from the original Fox Films, but that disarming smile, even playing a pure heel with only a few lines, got so much fan mail that he quickly went up the ladder. As for Janet Gaynor, she had been making money for Fox for over a decade and has probably the best role here, but her time at Fox, and in film for that matter, is just about over.

    I'd highly recommend this if you ever get the time. The ghostliest fact to me - these people don't even realize that their wishes may be temporary because another war is about to change everything in just three years time.
  • My husband and I watched this movie last night and really enjoyed it. The plot was intriguing and the acting was surprisingly superb, especially Janet Gaynor, Constance Bennett and Alan Mowbray as the magician. These three actors aren't as well known to modern audiences as Loretta Young, Tyrone Power and Paul Lukas; however, their performances in this film carry the film and give much greater depth and subtlety to the movie.

    We couldn't believe we had never heard of this movie before. I've read some of the more negative reviews on this website, and I don't agree with them. I recommend that you give this movie a try. It is most definitely NOT a screwball comedy or lightweight film like "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire." One reviewer mentioned the "European" feel of the film. It is set in Budapest, Hungary and it is true to the mores of the place and time. An excellent movie! If for no other reason, please watch it so that you can better appreciate Alan Mowbray, who is so underused in "My Man Godfrey" and is not remembered much for his great supporting role as the butler in "Merrily We Live."
  • Ladies in Love (1936)

    ** (out of 4)

    Janet Gaynor, Loretta Young, Constance Bennett, Simone Simon, Don Ameche, Paul Lukas and Tyrone Power highlight this all-star cast but the final film doesn't do any of them justice. Set in Budapest, three women (Gaynor, Young, Bennett) move into an apartment and soon we see them struggle with love and work issues. The cast here is extremely good but the screenplay is extremely poor. It's clear Fox wanted to throw all their stars in the pot but it's too bad they didn't bother coming up with a better screenplay. The movie is pretty much all dialogue and there's way too much of it and none of it comes off too interesting. The actors all do fine work on their own but the screenplay doesn't give them too much to do and the relationships never come off believable. Gaynor steals the film as a poor girl who sells ties trying to make ends meet. Ameche is also very good as the doctor who doesn't realize he's in love with Gaynor's character.
  • tonypatti4 February 2011
    Star-studded cast with three complete story lines make this tiny gem a fast-paced and absorbing flick. Bennett commands all her scenes with her trademarked regal assurance, Young does her gushing little girl routine, with one quick quip about being independent of men at the beginning, almost as if there was a coded assumption that she was a feminist at heart who had to be proved wrong by the overwhelming righteousness of patriarchal adherence to the masculine preferences inherent in the typical happy ending. Gaynor does her variation on Young's innocent routine, only mixing in the eager submissiveness of the thoroughly indoctrinated practitioner of standard femininity.

    The stories are set in Budapest, harnessed together by one of old Hollywood's most beloved artifices, the "three girls rooming together in poverty searching for husbands" plot. We are instantly thrown into the three romantic story lines, with the astonishing economy of old Hollywood that I fervently wish were still practiced today.

    Bennett is engaged in a open, sensible affair with Paul Lukas, and is showily worldly and cynical, while using subtle cues to clue us into the real state of her heart. Young has a storybook romance going with a young nobleman, played by the preternaturally handsome Power, who could have used a bit more screen time, or so many of us might wish. Gaynor is in love with a irascible, jealous control freak doctor, Ameche, but is discharged by him when she starts to work for the pompous, self-centered Alan Mowbray, who is a conceited magician and who does a wonderful character turn in the typically delightful Mowbray style, which is to say, as gay as pink ink on scented paper.

    I expected absolute fidelity to the standard Hollywood tropes and was pleasantly surprised to find the ending quite mixed. Young and Bennett reprise Young's comments about independence after being properly chastened by the absolute freedom enjoyed by the men in their lives, and Lukas is boldly tempted away from Bennett's side by Simon, playing a French schoolgirl who steals every scene she is in with her precocious grasp of the values of sexual audacity. There is a priceless moment, after she gets him to kiss her, a lingering kiss fraught with expectation and lacking in any visible restraint, where she looks at him in delight and barks a little laugh of knowing disdain and triumphant glee. Excellently put together and directed with great timing and sensitive performances, this film greatly exceeded my modest expectations.
  • This pleasant little movie set in Budapest caught me by surprise. With so many older films you can predict where the movie will end up...but not with this one. The ending caught me out of the blue...and for that alone it's worth seeing.

    The plot to this film is very much like the later film, "How to Marry a Millionaire". Three young ladies, Susie (Loretta Young), Yoli (Constance Bennett) and Martha (Janet Gaynor) are friends and decided to pool their money and rent a really swanky apartment instead of three separate crappy ones. The goal of this isn't only to live well but to help the women snag swanky husbands as well--and the film is all about their attempts to find the rich man of their dreams.

    While I didn't love this film, the acting was very nice (you also get to see the likes of Don Ameche, Tyrone Power, Paul Lukas and Alan Mowbray in the film as well) and the story reasonably interesting. But as I mentioned above, what really caught my by surprise was the ending. It was NOT by the numbers and predictable. Overall not a great film but well worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The only thing I can really say in praise of this very disappointing waste of effort, money and time, is that I really enjoyed the delightfully inappropriate Viennese music score directed and conducted by Louis Silvers. The script by Melville Baker (who later wrote the excellent "Above Suspicion") can only be described as a screaming bore. Admittedly, Baker probably didn't have much to start with in Ladislaus Bus-Fekete's 1930 Hungarian stage play which was translated by Victor Katona and Guy Bolton (of all people!) and which was published by Dutton of New York in 1937 - that is AFTER the movie was released. Presumably, Dutton anticipated that the movie would be a really big hit. It was certainly packed with star power: Janet Gaynor, Loretta Young, Constance Bennett, Simone Simon, Don Ameche, Paul Lukas, Tyrone Power... Alas, Only Alan Mowbray really delivers (and perhaps Simone Simon). The director, Edward H. Griffith, was not exactly a director of renown. And even if he was, almost everyone else assigned to this movie seems to be working at half steam, including my favorite photographer, Hal Mohr.
  • Although no one on this film got any closer to Budapest than the new 20th Century Fox studio's back lot, Ladies In Love is a nice romantic film about three women who agree to split the costs of an apartment in a swank Budapest neighborhood. The better for them to catch good husbands and the three go about to work.

    Janet Gaynor works as a lab assistant to Dr. Don Ameche who basically treats her like a doormat. She must like the idea because she then goes to work for egotistical magician Alan Mowbray as his assistant and general factotum. Mowbray is in a part that later on Clifton Webb would have specialized in.

    Loretta Young thinks she's found true love in Tyrone Power. But Power is a heel in this one and he's some kind of minor nobility. He trades up for Virginia Field who not only has title, but money. This was the role that made Darryl Zanuck decide that Power would be the franchise player of his new 20th Century Fox studio. Power would play a hero/heel in many of his films, but here he's a straight heel. Seventh billed in the cast list he got a lot of fan mail from this film that helped Zanuck in his evaluation.

    Constance Bennett is the oldest and most experienced of the three. She's got a thing going with another titled gent Paul Lukas. But one fine day a sly little minx from the country shows up in Simone Simon. She's supposed to be a teenager, but this girl is most mature in her wiles. She's got Lukas panting and wanting more.

    In the end one girl gets what she wants, the other two have to settle as they leave their apartment in the ritzy part of Budapest. A close call to tragedy also happens to one.

    Ladies In Love is a nice romantic film in which a whole cast gave a nice ensemble effort. Some futures were made because of this film.
  • "Ladies in Love" is a light comedy romance set in Budapest in the 1920s. The best thing about it is a cast loaded with talent of the day. Most of the cast were well established on the silver screen, but a couple were early in their careers. While the plot is light and just fairly interesting, the cast makes it worth watching. That's so especially for movie buffs, who know and recognize a considerable list of actors and actresses. This film affords an opportunity to see several of them in their early years of the sound era. And, most of the roles are good.

    Janet Gaynor and Loretta Young give the best performances as Martha and Susie, respectively. Constance Bennett's Yoli Haydn has been on the party circuit with wealthy men who come to the city for short periods of leisure and enjoyment. She joins the other two so the three can pool their funds to afford an upscale apartment while they work and party with men until each finds her "mister right."

    Yoli is waiting for the rich guy who will deck her with jewels, and while she is escorting one now, she doesn't want to bare her feelings toward him because he will be returning to South America and his mines in the wilds. Susie would like to be able to have her own ladies shop and then meet a Prince Charming who will sweep her off her feet. Martha is the more practical one who wants a man she can love and care for, who will love her in return, and provide a home and family.

    A fourth woman enters the story in Simone Simon as Marie Armand. She's 26 years old but plays an older teenager. Simon made three dozen movies in America and Europe before she quit acting in middle age.

    The story has some drama as well, but the light nature persists as these women meet the various men who will be in their lives - and then out of them for a couple. The best comedy by far occurs between Gaynor's Martha and two men in her life. Don Ameche plays a young psychologist, Dr. Rudi Imre; and Alan Mowbray plays a master magician, Paul Sandor. Paul Lukas has the largest male role as John Barta, the South American mining mogul, who has come to Budapest to find a wife. Tyrone Power is a young duke and acquaintance of Barta.

    Surprisingly, most of this cast had a considerable portfolio by 1936. One of them had already won an Oscar - Janet Gaynor in 1929. Loretta Young was the youngest female of the cast - just 23, but she had more films than any of the rest to her credit - 65 since she began in silent films as a child star. She would win an Oscar in 1948 and add two Golden Globes and three Emmys to her career honors.

    Two of the men would also win Oscars in their careers. Paul Lukas was the oldest member of the cast at 41, and he would win an Oscar in 1944. Don Ameche is one of the newcomers - having made just four films before this. But his star would rise fast and he would win an Oscar late in his career - in 1986. Of the remaining cast, Tyrone Power was in just his sixth film, and the 22-year-old within a year would become the leading male in all of his pictures, and a super star by the time of his early death from a heart attack at age 44 in 1958.

    Power and Young would be in half a dozen movies together. Ameche and Young were in half a dozen; and all three where in two films. Another reviewer noted a sort of surprise ending for this film. Well, it's not the usual Hollywood happy ending, but it seems about right for the people here. It's not sad, but more down to earth and real.

    Here are some favorite lines from this film.

    Martha Kerenye, "What he does takes just as much science as raising rabbits." Dr. Rudi Imre, "I'm using these for experiments. That's not raising them." Martha, "Well, you started with only two and now you've got 24." Dr. Imre, "Well, that's only a biological coincidence."

    Martha Kerenye, "And you're gonna try and explain my feelings to me!" Dr. Rudi Imre, "Well don't you wanna be able to understand your emotional responses?" Martha, "I do understand them." Dr. Imre, "Not thoroughly. See, what we have is a fairly common occurrence. Young woman - type B, with maternal instincts. Comes in contact with masculine type B - temperamental, but exotic personality. Result - young woman is dazzled. Her original drive to protect is transferred into romantic love. It's profoundly simple." Martha, "I am not dazzled." Dr. Imre, "Oh yes, you are. But you don't know it."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having rewatched "How to Marry a Millionaire" '53, recently, I was struck by how similar the plots of these movies are. In both films, we have 3 unrelated poor, but beautiful, single women who rent an upscale apartment together, rather than separate dingy apartments, in hopes that will suggest to their dates that they are better off than they are. Actually, between these films, there were several other films with the same basic plot, if differing in some details. This includes "Three Blind Mice" '38, "Moon Over Miami" '41, and "Three Little Girls in Blue", in which 3 sisters or other relatives, rather that unrelated women, are involved. Loretta Young, who is one of the women in this film, was also one of the women in "Three Blind Mice". Curiously, near the end of the present film, she was singing "Three Blind Mice". In addition, I just came across the '31 film "Three Girls Lost", which also includes Loretta(as well as John Wayne!) and, from the summary, sounds like it had a basically similar plot. Obviously, a popular plot to redo! ......Fortunately, Fox chose 3 charismatic beautiful actresses who are easy to tell apart at a glance. There is also a 4th girl(Simone Simon, as Marie) who worms her way into the relationship between wealthy John(Paul Lukas) and Constance Bennett(Yoli). Somehow, twice, she got into John's house to surprise John and Yoli when they arrived. Yoli doesn't want to go to South America, where John's business is about to take him, providing teenage Marie with an opening. John is quite hesitant, but eventually agrees, provide they marry before he goes. Yogi must find another wealthy prospect........Petite Janet Gaynor, as Martha, develops tenuous relationships with Don Ameche, as Dr. Rudi, and with Alan Mowbray, as magician Paul Sandor. Both are initially grouchy toward her, as she is an assistant to them. However, both eventually appreciate her company. But, apparently, Sandor said something that ticked her off, and she left him, going back to Rudi and his experimental rabbits. Martha would later become the victim of Susie's(Loretta) attempt to poison herself after losing handsome wealthy Karl(Tyrone Power) to his fiancé. Dr.Rudi was called to try to help resuscitate her, and this further cemented their attraction to each other. Not long after, they married. Martha had achieved at least part of her wish to snare a nice husband, who might not be very wealthy. By the way, Susie must have been kidding herself when, at the outset, she claimed she wasn't looking for a husband. She just wanted to run a hat shop. One look at Tyrone and she forgot about this claim! He escorted her to a few functions, not telling her that he was engaged to soon marry a countess(Virginia Field). Eventually, she found out, and tried to poison herself, only succeeding in poisoning Martha by mistake......The finale of the film is entirely too rushed! We know that Martha found her man, but what about the others? Martha mentions that Susie finally got her hat shop. But, how did this come about? Is she still looking? I think I heard Yoli mention a Ben, presumably Ben Horvath: a wealthy man she met at a party he gave. But, it would have been nice to confirm this suspicion, and detail the events leading up to this. Apparently, all were satisfied that they had accomplished their goal, as they simultaneously moved out of their apartment in a gay mood.
  • Starting off with a bit of perhaps heresy to some, I have never understood the appeal of Janet Gaynor, and this did not help. However, though the long-shot and quirkiest character here, hers was the lucky ticket that paid off. It is interesting to see the former box-office dominating Bennett underbilled to Loretta Young, whose star was on the rise. They say Ms. Young's fan mail always abounded, something the execs kept a close eye on. Despite that, she has a thankless part here, the heir apparent to the young nobleman's second billing, having already been aligned with a worthy marriage candidate, likely by family design. With Young's character, he was shopping for the extracurricular interest in advance. However, it's more the personality type chosen for this character that did not fit Ms. Young, who seemed off balance playing off balance, being more effective as a more self-assured type. Ms. Bennett had the best part and did well enough. The screenwriter(s) did not play true to type and time here in that they only rewarded one of the three young hopefuls, the other two left to gracefully bow out of the venture at the end, perhaps some the wiser. The production values along with interesting players form the lifeline of this one, the script needing recessitation from the beginning, but never receiving it.