"Everything about "Sadie McKee" was right, the actors, the script, direction, costumes, the works. ~Joan Crawford
"Sadie McKee" 1934
Cast: Joan Crawford~Gene Raymond~Franchot Tone~Edward Arnold~Esther Ralston~Earl Oxford~Jean Dixon~Leo Carrillo~Akim Tamiroff~Zelda
Sears~Helen Ware~Helen Freeman~Leo G. Carroll.
Director: Clarence Brown
Box Office Figures for "Sadie McKee":
Cost: $612K ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $838K ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $464K
Total: $1,302m. / Profit: $226K
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below.
Thank you for your review on this film.
Stars: Four stars
Review: One thing stands out first and foremost for me in "Sadie McKee": Joan Crawford's face. Someone once
remarked that Joan Crawford's face metamorphosed over time from sublime to Kabuki, and here it is at the apex of breathtaking.
Crawford had a face meant for the cameras and to appreciate this, it's important to see her at her peak (in films like "Sadie")
when the camera rapturously captured that flawless, delicately sculptured bone structure, the fine nose and the wide eyes
that were soulful, expressive and beautiful. No mere glamorous clothes hanger, contrary to rumors, she could really act (when
given the chance) and here a whole range of emotions crosses her features and shows in her eyes in various close-ups. She
is like an Art Deco goddess, the stuff of dreams. This is a Hollywood glamour that has truly disappeared. You no longer find
the beauty and glamour and raw vitality that a star like Crawford exuded because these same dreams are no longer being manufactured
by the studio as they were certainly in the 1930's. Crawford was very symbolic of the working girl who made good and achieved
the brass ring. So it is the jaw-dropping glamour and beauty of Crawford that stands out for me in this film. The Adrian
designs. The Deco nightclub. That face and sleek body like an Erte design.
The plot is rather annoying in that it requires Crawford to be virtuous and prove her virtue. Why are men not required
to redeem themselves this way? As Sadie McKee, she is a maid with amazing bone structure, working in the household of the
wealthy Alderson family. Real life husband Franchot Tone plays the family's son Mike who carries the torch for Sadie and makes
himself a pest because she has attached herself to a ukulele-strumming scoundrel Tommy (Gene Raymond). When Mike insults
Tommy, he alienates Sadie and she runs off to begin a new life with Tommy. Twists in the plot -- Tommy leaves Crawford for
a blowsy, Mae-West-type singer, Dolly (Esther Ralston) -- lead to Crawford hooking up ultimately with a pudgy alcoholic millionaire,
Brennan (character actor Edward Arnold). Accusing her of being a gold digger, Mike badgers Sadie. But Sadie who may have moved
into the millionaire marriage for spite rather than love does ultimately become the noble heroine, saving Brennan's life
from drink and settling the romantic dilemmas. The film culminates in a fabulous nightclub scene (my favorite) - oh, that
Deco age; nothing compares. If I had to choose between the three men for Crawford, I'd choose Clark Gable. But guess what?
He's not in the movie. Oh, well.
A disturbing moment for me is when Brennan pulls Sadie into his arms at one point and kisses her, the shock registering
on her face. I actually had the chills, the moment evoking every poor Hollywood starlet who had to sleep with an unappetizing
big wig to get a break, maybe even Joan herself. It still angers and stuns me that men with money and power think they can
get any young beauty they so desire (and they're usually right), whereas women (who especially at the time of this film had
few economic options) get flack for anything less than love. But then this is my sensitivity; the scene won't so impact most
Definitely worth it for the sheer glamour and Joan's stunning beauty (pure movie star Deco heaven!). Contains the pleasing
song "All I Do is Dream of You."