Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

19 September 2017

When Ladies Meet

All my pre-code viewing has turned up something really remarkable! A women's film that is smart and fun and truly delightful. I adored this movie from start to finish, and it treats its characters frankly and humanely.

The film boasts positively brilliant performances – by Ann Harding, Myrna Loy, and Alice Brady in the first place, but also by the always great Frank Morgan and with a superb supporting turn by Martin Burton.

When Ladies Meet is frank about sex. It's honest about relationships. It possesses fascinating insights about marriage. It was, of course, based on a play written by a woman, and I don't think this could have been otherwise. Male Hollywood screenwriters from this period simply were not writing things like this. And under the PCA I can't imagine this movie existing at all. It was, apparently, remade in 1941. I haven't seen that film yet, but I can't see how something censored – as it would have to be under the PCA – could work as well as this one.

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