LETTY LYNTON is a better-than-average example of the work of a woman who gave the phrase "Mommy Dearest" new meaning. Crawford is a wealthy socialite on vacation in South America, where she is pursued by charming Asther. She doesn't love him a bit, but he's amusing for a time, and they
dally together. After a while, she becomes bored with him, and the sultry climate, and the lush foliage, so she decides to return to New York. This doesn't sit well with Asther who has, by this time, fallen hard for her. In order to keep her from leaving, he says he will reveal the nature of some
steamy letters she's written to him while she was in an indiscreet mood, thus ruining her image up north. She's unruffled by his threats and gets on an ocean liner pointed north with her maid-companion, Hale. On board the ship she meets Montgomery and before the cruise is over, they are engaged.
Talk about a hussy! Meanwhile, Asther is not taking this lying down, so he flies to New York and is waiting for her at the dock. Crawford goes home to her cold-hearted mother, Robson, whom she has never liked. Asther shows up at the Crawford manse and repeats his threat to bare the letters. This
threat is overheard by Robson and the cat is now out of the bag. Later, Crawford goes to Asther's apartment (it must have been much easier to find a flat in New York in those days) with a vial of poison that she dumps into his drink after he ignores all her pleas to cease and desist. He drinks the
stuff and dies right away. She is immediately horrified and goes to the Long Island estate of Montgomery's parents, Dunn and Walker, but the cops trail her there. She's all smiles and laughter at the party until the law steps in and takes her to the police station, where it looks as though the
whole thing is an open-and-shut case. Then Montgomery, her deus ex machoman, arrives with Robson. They have concocted an alibi which the district attorney quickly believes, and Crawford is allowed to leave and, presumably, spend the rest of her life with Montgomery. This also serves to bring her
closer to Robson. Good drama with a couple of solid comedic licks tossed in by Hale. Some unbelievable plot turns mar the effect, such as the district attorney's fast dismissal of a murder charge after the false alibi. Several minutes could have been cut, most of all in the Crawford-Asther scenes.
A bit of overplaying also serves to lose credibility. Adrian's gowns for Crawford were exceptional.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: LETTY LYNTON is a better-than-average example of the work of a woman who gave the phrase "Mommy Dearest" new meaning. Crawford is a wealthy socialite on vacation in South America, where she is pursued by charming Asther. She doesn't love him a bit, but he'… (more)