A costume drama of morals and manners in Louisiana in the last century, THE TOY WIFE is much ado about nothing. Rainer (who was the only woman ever to win two consecutive Oscars) is a 16-year-old who has just come back to Louisiana after a trip to France. O'Neil, her sister, is engaged to
Douglas, while Young is courting Rainer. Rainer, however, is attracted to Douglas, despite Young's ardor. She steals Douglas away, marries him, they have a son, and she is ensconced in the task of supervising their plantation and being a mother. She is not up to it, however, and Douglas asks
O'Neil to help manage the slaves. Later, Rainer takes up again with Young and runs off with him to New York. When they return to New Orleans, Douglas and Young fight a duel and Young is killed. Rainer gets her comeuppance by catching one of those movie diseases. She dies, but not before having
secured the love of her son, Douglas, and O'Neil. Old-fashioned, with none of the style of CAMILLE (which is emulated to a point), or the fire of GONE WITH THE WIND, which it also resembles. Screenwriter Akins had written the scripts for CAMILLE and ZAZA and one can't help but notice the
similarities. The sets came from other films like OPERATOR 13, and the smell of mothballs was all over the costumes. Cooper, the producer, was better known for KING KONG. Would that he could have instilled some of the excitement of that film into this one.
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