Beauty for Sale

Last updated

Beauty for Sale
Beauty for Sale poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Richard Boleslawski
Produced by Lucien Hubbard
Screenplay by Eve Greene
Zelda Sears
Based onBeauty
1933 novel
by Faith Baldwin
Starring Madge Evans
Alice Brady
Otto Kruger
Music by William Axt (uncredited)
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • September 1, 1933 (1933-09-01)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Beauty for Sale is a 1933 American pre-Codefilm about the romantic entanglements of three beauty salon employees. Based on the 1933 novel Beauty by Faith Baldwin, it stars Madge Evans, Alice Brady, and Otto Kruger. [1]

Contents

Plot

Small town woman Letty Lawson (Madge Evans) moves to New York City and lives in a boarding house run by Mrs. Merrick (May Robson). Eventually she asks her friend and Mrs. Merrick's daughter, Carol (Una Merkel), to get her a job at her workplace, an exclusive beauty salon owned by Madame Sonia Barton (Hedda Hopper). Though both Carol and her brother Bill (Edward J. Nugent), who is in love with her, warn her that it is not a fit place for a young woman of good character, Letty insists she knows what she is getting into.

After proving herself, Letty is sent on a house call to attend to spoiled, scatterbrained, chatty Mrs. Sherwood (Alice Brady). When she leaves, she discovers her hat has been chewed up by Mrs. Smallwood's Pekingese. Lawyer Mr. Sherwood (Otto Kruger) returns home and is quite fond of Letty and offers her to go and buy her an expensive replacement. By chance, she meets him again when they both seek shelter from a rainstorm in the same place. Smallwood is delighted when a fear of lightning makes Letty reflexively seek the comfort of his arms several times. They start seeing each other, though nothing very improper occurs.

Meanwhile, Carol has a rich, older, indulgent boyfriend, Freddy Gordon (Charley Grapewin), while Jane (Florine McKinney), another salon employee, is secretly seeing Burt (Phillips Holmes), Madame Sonia's mining engineer son.

Finally, Sherwood asks Letty to take the next step in their relationship. She asks for a week to think it over.

Carol convinces Freddy to take her along on his business trip to Paris. While seeing her off aboard the ocean liner, Letty runs into the Bartons. When Letty later mentions that Burt is leaving on the same ship as Carol, Jane becomes very upset. It turns out that Burt had promised to marry her the next day after she told him she was pregnant. Though Letty tries to comfort her, late that night Jane leaps from her window to her death.

Influenced by the examples of both Jane and Carol (after her first and only love turned out to be a married man who eventually went back to his wife, she became calculating and cynical), Letty turns Sherwood down. Then, she reluctantly agrees to marry Bill.

Specifically requested by Mrs. Sherwood, Letty is forced by Madame Sonia to go to her home. When her client notices her engagement ring, she reveals that she is getting married soon. Mr. Sherwood coolly congratulates her. However, on the wedding day, she cannot go through with it.

The next day, Mrs. Sherwood asks her husband for a divorce so she can marry Robert Abbott (John Roche), the architect of the new country mansion she had commissioned. She tells him that she will ask for no alimony, as she is independently wealthy. Sherwood is furious, as it is after Letty's supposed wedding, but is quite willing to let his wife go.

Carol, having finally gotten Freddy to propose, goes house hunting. The real estate agent takes them to see the Sherwood mansion. When he reveals that it is being sold because the couple are divorcing, Letty rushes over to the real estate office to stop the sale and be reunited with her love.

Cast (in order of appearance)

further:

Reception

The New York Times reviewer had a mixed reaction, calling Beauty for Sale "a strange composite of good and bad." [1] "The story is reminiscent of so many others", but "the cast works miracles and Richard Boleslavsky, the director, has displayed considerable acumen" so that "at times, therefore, one is happily deluded into the feeling that the picture has freshness and a certain originality." [1]

Related Research Articles

Madge Blake Actress

Madge Blake was an American character actress best remembered for her role as Larry Mondello's mother, Margaret Mondello, on the CBS/ABC sitcom Leave It to Beaver, as Flora MacMichael on the ABC/CBS sitcom The Real McCoys, and as Aunt Harriet Cooper in 96 episodes of ABC's Batman. Gene Kelly had a special affection for her and included her in each of his films following her role in An American in Paris.

Bonita Granville American actress and producer

Bonita Gloria Granville Wrather was an American actress and producer. She was best known for playing Nancy Drew in a film series of the late 1930s and for her roles in These Three (1936), Merrily We Live (1938), H. M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), Now, Voyager (1942), Hitler's Children (1943), and Song of the Open Road (1944).

Irene Handl British actress

Irene Handl was a British character actress who appeared in over a hundred British films.

Charley Grapewin American actor

Charles Ellsworth Grapewin was an American vaudeville and circus performer, a writer, and a stage and film actor. He worked in over 100 motion pictures during the silent and sound eras, most notably portraying Uncle Henry in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Wizard of Oz (1939), Grandpa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Jeeter Lester in Tobacco Road (1941), and California Joe in They Died With Their Boots On (1941).

Anna Q. Nilsson Swedish-American actress

Anna Quirentia Nilsson was a Swedish-American actress who achieved success in American silent movies. She predates fellow Swedish born actresses Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman.

Carmel Myers American actress

Carmel Myers was an American actress who achieved her greatest successes in silent film.

The Elephant Man is a play by Bernard Pomerance. It premiered at the Hampstead Theatre in London on 7 November 1977. It later played in repertory at the National Theatre in London. It ran Off-Broadway from 14 January to 18 March 1979, at The Theatre at St. Peter's. The production's Broadway debut in 1979 at the Booth Theatre was produced by Richmond Crinkley and Nelle Nugent, and directed by Jack Hofsiss. The play closed in 1981 after eight previews and 916 regular performances.

<i>Magnificent Obsession</i> (1954 film)

Magnificent Obsession is a 1954 American romantic drama film directed by Douglas Sirk starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. The screenplay was written by Robert Blees and Wells Root, after the 1929 book Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas. The film was produced by Ross Hunter. Sirk sometimes claimed that the story was based distantly on the Greek legend of Alcestis.

Marin Sais

Marin Sais was an American actress whose career was most prolific during the silent film era of the 1910s and 1920s. Sais' acting career spanned over four decades and she is possibly best recalled for appearing in Western themed films.

Florence Auer American actress (1880–1962)

Florence Auer was an American theater and motion picture actress whose career spanned more than five decades.

Sheila Bromley American actress

Sheila Bromley, . Sometimes billed as Sheila LeGay, Sheila Manners, Sheila Mannors or Sheila Manors, was an American television and film actress. She is best known for her roles in B-movies, mostly Westerns of the era.

Marianne Stone

Marianne Stone was an English character actress. She mainly appeared in films from the early 1940s to the late 1980s, and usually played working class parts such as barmaids, secretaries and landladies. Stone is probably best known for her contribution to the Carry On films, of which she appeared in nine, and took part in an episode of the Carry On Laughing television series. She also had supporting roles with comedian Norman Wisdom.

Kay Linaker American actress and screenwriter

Mary Katherine Linaker was an American actress and screenwriter who appeared in many B movies during the 1930s and 1940s, most notably Kitty Foyle (1940) starring Ginger Rogers. Linaker used her married name, Kate Phillips, as a screenwriter, notably for the cult movie hit The Blob (1958). She is credited with coining the name "The Blob" for the movie, which was originally titled "The Molten Meteor".

<i>Adventure in Manhattan</i> 1936 film by Edward Ludwig

Adventure in Manhattan is a 1936 American screwball comedy thriller film made by Columbia Pictures, and was directed by Edward Ludwig. The screenplay was written by Sidney Buchman, Harry Sauber, Jack Kirkland, and John Howard Lawson. The story was written by Joseph Krumgold, suggested by the novel Purple and Fine Linen by May Edginton.

Julia Dean (actress, born 1878)

Julia Dean was a stage and film actress who began her career in the 1890s.

Blanche Friderici

Blanche L. Friderici was an American film and stage actress, sometimes credited as Blanche Frederici.

Edith Fellows American actress

Edith Marilyn Fellows was an American actress who became a child star in the 1930s. Best known for playing orphans and street urchins, Fellows was an expressive actress with a good singing voice. She made her screen debut at the age of five in Charley Chase's film short Movie Night (1929). Her first credited role in a feature film was The Rider of Death Valley (1932). By 1935, she had appeared in over twenty films. Her performance opposite Claudette Colbert and Melvyn Douglas in She Married Her Boss (1935) won her a seven-year contract with Columbia Pictures, the first such contract offered to a child.

<i>Radio Cab Murder</i>

Radio Cab Murder is a 1954 British crime film directed by Vernon Sewell and starring Jimmy Hanley, Lana Morris and Sonia Holm.

Louise Carter American actress

Louise Carter was an American stage and film actress. She appeared in 48 films between 1924 and 1940, mostly in maternal supporting roles. Among her roles were the mother of Paul Muni in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), the wife of Lionel Barrymore in Broken Lullaby (1932) and the wife of W. C. Fields in You're Telling Me! (1934).

Mira McKinney was an American actress. She appeared in the films The Case of the Stuttering Bishop, Blazing Sixes, Young Fugitives, The Road to Reno, Garden of the Moon, Prairie Moon, The Great Waltz, I Stole a Million, The House of the Seven Gables, An Angel from Texas, Alias the Deacon, Hot Steel, Third Finger, Left Hand, Life Begins for Andy Hardy, A Dangerous Game, Double Trouble, Red River Robin Hood, Pittsburgh, Rhythm of the Islands, Moonlight in Vermont, The Mummy's Ghost, Till We Meet Again, Rough Riders of Cheyenne, Hold That Blonde, Fallen Angel, Junior Prom, Shadows Over Chinatown, Beat the Band, Linda, Be Good, Sitting Pretty, The Doolins of Oklahoma, Destination Big House, Fancy Pants, Harriet Craig, The Groom Wore Spurs, Heart of the Rockies, Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder, Francis Covers the Big Town, The Last Posse and Women's Prison, among others.

References

  1. 1 2 3 F.S.N. (Frank S. Nugent) (September 16, 1933). "Beauty for Sale (1933): Beauty Shop Romances". The New York Times .