Above: ""Montana Moon" was a bit of fluff that was supposed to help
"Montana Moon" 1930
Cast: Joan Crawford (as Joan "Montana" Prescott), Johnny Mack Brown, Dorothy Sebastian,
Somehow doing a musical in the shaky infancy days of sound films, doesn't seem like such a great idea. Such was the format
with 'Montana Moon', and a great idea, it was not! Joan Prescott (Joan) is a wealthy young daughter of a Montana rancher.
Whilst on a train from New York City back to her home in Montana, she decides to sneak off the train before her final stop,
making a decision to turn around and go back to The Big Apple. Before she can get back on another train, she runs into handsome
cowboy, Larry Kerrigan (Johnny Mack Brown). In a typically accelerated movie romance, they fall in love and marry.
Although the film was a musical, in a strange marketing move, MGM also released a silent version of the same film. Joan sprained
her ankle during rehearsals and was forced to rest it before filming could begin. The story and screenplay were co-written
by Irving Thalberg's sister, Sylvia Thalberg.
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Movie Posters/Lobby Cards etc...
Reviewer, writerdonna7, says...
"Montana Moon" is redeemed from being merely a creaky, Godawful, early sound film by the bright and charming presence
of a very young Joan Crawford who is truly at her cutest and most endearing here. Also fascinating are some historical prototypes
found within its structure. It is part MGM musical, the first "singing cowboys" western, and part early "beach
party" film with Crawford at the center of a youthful cast of harmless, misunderstood "kids" just wanting to
dance and cut loose -- the Annette of the jazz age. The plot, ridiculous as it is, concerns a vivacious flapper named Joan
"Montana" Prescott (Crawford) who is taking a train with her father, sister Lizzie (Dorothy Sebastian) and party-happy
friends to the family ranch in Montana. Embarrassed by the fact that Jeff Pelham (Ricardo Cortez), Lizzie's boyfriend, keeps
coming on to her, she packs her suitcase and gets off at a stop before the family's intended destination. There she flirts
with a ticket seller and crosses the railroad tracks (Joan's on the right side of the tracks, this time) where she encounters
an aw-shucks cowboy, Larry Kerrigan (Johnny Mack Brown) and spends the night at his fireside campsite. He understandably falls
for the sweetly seductive (though presumably chaste!) lass, so that in the very next scene of singing cowboys, the couple
has married! Crawford sings a few solos, including "The Moon is Low" and "Let Me Give You Love" (with
a chorus of cowboys) and sounds quite good. After a "honeymoon" night under the stars in sleeping bags beneath the
prying eyes of Larry's eclectic cowboy friends, the couple go to Joan's family ranch. Larry meets the approval of his new
father-in-law but fails to fit in with "the kids." The young couple seem ill matched and have a squabble. Will they
ride off into the sunset together?
Mordaunt Hall of the "New York Times" had this to say, "An interminable, amateurish talking picture with spasmodic snatches of melody, is now sojourning at the Capitol...Taking it all in all, the most pleasing features in this production are Miss Crawford's camel's hair coat and her jodhpur riding, outfit...Miss Crawford appears to enjoy her role and sometimes her acting is quite fair."
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