A Lady Of Chance

  • 1928
  • 1 HR 19 MIN
  • NR

Shearer is a pretty blackmailer in league with gangster Sherman. She lures men up to her room, and then Sherman bursts in pretending to be her husband. The terrified victim usually coughs up money to keep the matter quiet. After one episode of this kind, Sherman keeps the whole take, so Shearer robs him and goes into hiding. She meets and falls in love...read more

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Shearer is a pretty blackmailer in league with gangster Sherman. She lures men up to her room, and then Sherman bursts in pretending to be her husband. The terrified victim usually coughs up money to keep the matter quiet. After one episode of this kind, Sherman keeps the whole take, so

Shearer robs him and goes into hiding. She meets and falls in love with Brown, the inventor of a revolutionary new concrete mix. When her former cohorts catch up to her, they scheme to bilk Brown out of his money, but rather than betray the man she loves, Shearer turns herself in to the law and is

sent to a reformatory. Brown manages to swing her a parole, and the lovers are happily reunited. This was Shearer's first talking (actually, part-talking) picture, although she herself did not talk in it; dialog sequences were sporadic and featured other players, and the film relied heavily on

writer Spence's titles to carry the story. Shearer had been a star of silents for years, but she was filled with incertitude about her vocal capabilities. Fortunately, she had the help of young studio wunderkind Irving Thalberg, whom she had married a year previously. Following this film's

completion, the Thalbergs took a long European vacation. On their return, Shearer went to experts at the University of Southern California to have her voice analyzed. Reassured, she underwent a talking screen test and was signed for the leading role in MGM's second all-talking picture, THE TRIAL

OF MARY DUGAN (1929). Johnny Mack Brown, who in these late-1920s films played leads with such other ladies as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford, had matriculated downward to B westerns by the early 1930s.

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