27 December 2007 | bkoganbing
Declare It A Draw
When Ladies Meet was the second version of Rachel Crothers play that was on Broadway in the early Thirties. And of course by the title you can tell it's one of those 'women's' pictures. The type of women who lead lives very much different than most women in Depression Era America.
Taking over the roles in the first film version played by Ann Harding and Myrna Loy are Joan Crawford and Greer Garson. Crawford's a novelist who's being given the full courtship by her publisher Herbert Marshall. This is an old game for Marshall who keeps two timing his wife Greer Garson who's perennially taking him back.
But we've got a fourth in the mix here in the person of playboy Robert Taylor. Taylor's taking over for Robert Montgomery and while he doesn't quite have Montgomery's light touch for drawing room comedy, still puts over his part with aplomb.
Still this film is a battle for the women and I'd have to declare it a draw. Crawford too is a bit out of her league, she's going for a part that her rival Norma Shearer would have played let alone Ann Harding in the first version. But Garson is very well cast as the ever forgiving wife.
And Herbert Marshall? I can't think of a more dignified philanderer ever in screen history. He plays it as noble and as righteous as Horace Giddens in The Little Foxes where he was a wronged party.
This version of When Ladies Meet is not a bad one and two of the stars are showing a bit of range in not playing parts they normally would be in.