A well-crafted melodrama featuring Crawford as a maid working in the home of a wealthy family that also employs her mother, Ware, as the cook. Though encouraged by her mother to engage in a coy flirtation with the heir to the family fortune, Tone (her soon-to-be third husband), Crawford
really loves Raymond, a ne'er-do-well who works in the local factory. When Raymond is fired from his job, he deserts Crawford and moves to New York City. Unable to face life without her love, Crawford follows Raymond to the big city. Upon her arrival, she discovers that Raymond has taken up with
vaudevillian sweetie Ralston and has no intention of continuing their relationship. Crushed, Crawford decides to stay in New York and make the best of it. She lands a job in a nightclub and there meets kindly, alcoholic millionaire Arnold, who falls in love with her and asks her to marry him.
Though she does not love him, Crawford marries Arnold out of convenience and settles down to a miserable life. Meanwhile, Raymond has slipped into a pattern of self-destruction which has begun to consume him. Learning that he is seriously ill, Crawford, who still loves him, goes to Raymond and he
dies in her arms. Feeling hopeless, Crawford resigns herself to a loveless existence with Arnold. Luckily, Tone arrives on the scene and re-establishes his relationship with her. At the end Crawford realizes that she has loved Tone since the days she worked in his home as a maid and she decides to
divorce Arnold to pursue true happiness. While the plot is pure hokum, SADIE MCKEE is filmed and acted with a professional flair that elevates the material. Crawford is fine as the near-tragic small town girl looking for love, but Arnold steals the movie with his detailed, sympathetic portrayal of
a happy but pathetic alcoholic. Fans of director Frank Capra who fondly remember Arnold's villainous performances in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) and MEET JOHN DOE (1941) will find his moving performance a revelation.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A well-crafted melodrama featuring Crawford as a maid working in the home of a wealthy family that also employs her mother, Ware, as the cook. Though encouraged by her mother to engage in a coy flirtation with the heir to the family fortune, Tone (her soon… (more)