27 September 2016 | AlsExGal
Great actors in a rather predictable script...
...but a pretty good effort considering it was early in the production code era. Ann Harding plays Anne Talbot, elegant beautiful wife of Dr. Michael Talbot (Herbert Marshall), esteemed physician. He and his wife seem to get along well together, neither ignores the other, it seems like a perfect marriage. AND YET, when Gerry Mannerly (Margaret Lindsay)comes along, a bold brash sportswoman who goes after what she wants, Dr. Talbot becomes mush in her hands. When he abruptly kisses her on their first meeting, he even tells his wife about it. She treats it like a joke. Not because she doesn't love Michael or see his worth, but because that is the kind of easy going and trusting wife she is. Bad choice on Anne's part.
Dr. Talbot falls in love with Gerry, and asks Anne for a divorce. Yet Anne is the one who moves out into a rather cramped apartment, Anne is the one who refuses alimony, and when shrewish Gerry invites her to the wedding, she goes.
As soon as the "I dos" are said in Dr. Talbot's second marriage, Gerry begins to change everything. She throws out all of the old furniture and puts in new furniture. Out with Michael's old friends and in with hers, even out with Michael's dad, who still adores Anne. As for being the supportive wife of a doctor in an era when doctors' wives were supposed to understand the unpredictability of a doctor's schedule, nothing comes before Gerry's social life.
In the meantime, Ann still lends a shoulder to her ex when he needs one, although she is being relentlessly pursued by a rather drab fellow whom she considers a friend and nothing else (Walter Abel as Stanley Ashton).
Ann Harding here is playing the kind of person for whom love is a two way street and she is getting run over in both directions, yet she is nothing but smiles. Herbert Marshall, usually playing the clear headed guy acts like a complete idiot when it comes to Gerry's obvious manipulation and throwing away such a great bird in hand in Anne. The biggest problem I had with this film was figuring out his motivation. How could he allow himself to be duped like this when he could definitely not say that the grass was greener?
The best performance here is given by Margaret Lindsay, usually playing the good girl over at Warner Brothers, but in this film is a completely unlikable and even transparent villain in a totally believable performance. Honorable mention has to go to Edward Ellis as Jim Talbot, Michael Talbot's no nonsense dad.
How can anything good come out of this in the production code era that demands a just ending? Watch and find out, mainly for the performances.