The picture was released at the depths of the Depression and showed that even the Long Island rich can manage to be unhappy. Bankhead is married to Stephens and she loses $10,000 gambling in a club (in 1931, truly a king's ransom). She must keep that from Stephens so she takes some money
she'd been harboring for a charity fund and speculates in the market in a vain attempt to win back the earlier money. Naturally, her stock deal sours and she is now in very hot water so she "accepts" money from a wealthy admirer (Pichel, later a successful B movie director) who has just returned
from the Orient. Stephens gives her money to pay Pichel but Pichel would prefer several pounds of her flesh and she fends him off by shooting him to death. The climax in the courtroom features husband Stephens taking the blame for the killing and about to be convicted when Bankhead tells all and
he is saved. This was originally made as a silent film with Sessue Hayakawa (1915) as the heavy and Fanny Ward as the lady (directed by C.B. de Mille). It had two other incarnations as well: in 1923, and then in France in 1937, but it seldom got any better. Bankhead's father was speaker of the
House of Representatives, her uncle was an Alabama senator, and her grandfather was also a senator. They all despaired for Tallu's welfare when she took up with the showbiz crowd. They may have been right, for after a stringent convent education, she let it all hang out and was known far and wide
as one of the wildest party women in Hollywood.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: The picture was released at the depths of the Depression and showed that even the Long Island rich can manage to be unhappy. Bankhead is married to Stephens and she loses $10,000 gambling in a club (in 1931, truly a king's ransom). She must keep that from… (more)