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Above: ""Our Blushing Brides" was a dud. Poor Bob Montgomery didn't stand a chance with the script;
fortunately my part was okay." - Joan Crawford

"Our Blushing Brides" 1930

Cast: Joan Crawford (as Jerry March), Anita Page, Dorothy Sebastian, Robert Montgomery, Raymond Hackett, John Miljan, Albert Conti, Edward Brophy, Hedda Hopper, Robert Emmett O'Connor, Martha Sleeper, Gwen Lee, Mary Doran, Catherine Moylan, Norma Drew, Claire Dodd,
Wilda Mansfield.

Release date - July 19, 1930

Running time - 99 minutes (11 reels)

Director - Harry Beaumont

Writing Credits - Bess Meredyth and John Howard Lawson (dialogue), Helen Meinardi (titles)

Producer - Harry Beaumont

Cinematographer - Merritt B. Gerstad

Costumes - Adrian

Studio - MGM


Movie Synopsis

Gerry (Joan), Connie (Anite Page) and Franky (Dorothy Sebastian) are best friends who live and work together in New York City. Three shopgirls looking for love, desperate to find a man to keep them, have little luck realizing their dream.

The fragile Franky (Dorothy Sebastian) commits suicide when she's dumped by her boyfriend and Connie (Anita Page) gets all caught up in her crooked boyfriend's underhanded affairs. Gerry (Joan) helps her out of her predicament and Connie (Anita Page) leaves New York City seeking retreat at her family's farm. Gerry's (Joan) loyalty as a friend gets rewarded in love with the marriage proposal of the store owner's son, Tony (Robert Montgomery), a respectable young man whom she adores.


Interesting Trivia

Cost: $337K/Domestic Studio Gross: $874K/Foreign Studio Gross: $337K/ Profit:$412K

Box Office Receipts: $1,211,000.

Inflation Value in 2007: $15,079,415.51


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Reviewer, writerdonna7, says...

This is one of my favorite early Joan Crawford pictures. While most creak at the seams, having been made in the early days of sound, the datedness in this film is part of its charm. In fact, one of my favorite lines is when Crawford as Gerry March says of her roommate's boyfriend, "Just what you'd expect. 1910 motor. 1930 chassis." The paper-thin plot concerns the romantic lives of three young women sharing a coldwater flat in the Bronx, practical Gerry; dreamy Connie Blair (the always-adorable Anita Page); and Franky Daniels (Dorothy Sebastian) who all also happen to work in the same department store (for $22.50 a week!) where they are apparently required to perform some prurient showroom lingerie-modeling for customers on the side. Amusingly, the opening reminds me of Robert Altman or even the film "Coma" where supposedly "real life" conversations are filmed as our three female protagonists move through the locker rooms of the store and converge with dozens of other women at the mirrors. The conversations between various "extras" sound stagy and unconvincing here as they do in "Coma" with my favorite being a gum-chewing (of course) broad saying to her girlfriend, "And he says to me, 'Yeah?' and I says to him, 'Yeah.'" It's almost as good as the lines in a Dashiell Hammett story where the character spits out, "It was going to be eggs in the coffee -- yeah! Duck soup -- yeah!" The crowded female locker room resembles a sweat shop.

In any case, in one "modeling" sequence where Crawford, all doe-eyed and softness, has to pose in lingerie in front of Tony Jardine (Robert Montgomery) and a female client, Jardine, the store owner's son, makes clear his interest in her. She also (incomprehensibly, to my mind) is equally taken with him. She even tells her roommates later, as they prepare to go out on the town and poor Gerry remains at home, that all men run pretty "true to form," particularly in a taxi cab, but that Tony Jardine seemed different. Given that he eyes her and makes leading comments about her "form" in the showroom and later boldly enters her dressing room when she is in the middle of changing and sits down to watch, I can't see how she figures that. For some unknown reason, Montgomery was paired frequently with Crawford, although they have zero chemistry together and he is at all times stiff however suave. (Only in "Letty Lynton" does his artificiality work).

Meanwhile, Connie is involved with Jardine's brother David (Raymond Hackett), a rake. Gerry cottons onto Davey's insincerity before Connie does when she spies him with another girl in a movie theater, which puts her in the awful dilemma of keeping mum over Connie's misguided happiness or trying to let her friend down gently.

A fanciful Art Deco ballet/modeling sequence is a highlight in which Crawford in becoming platinum wig dances a ballet with a chorus line of identically dressed platinum blondes, showcasing her high kicks. She is very alluring, girlish and coquettish in this sequence and when Jardine invites her to walk with him, she says, coyly and sweetly, "I really shouldn't in this dress." Then the pair go to a fanciful Art Deco tree house where the whole set looks like a painting and Crawford seated on the edge of a divan like part of its design. Jardine makes the expected moves on our demure Gerry, but she sets him straight with some strange dialogue. All in all, not an auspicious courtship. He doesn't seem like so much less a rake than his brother. But he is given the opportunity to prove his mettle later on.

Crawford as the center of the piece delivers, her charisma potent, and in spite of some nervous tics and feminine swooning, she registers solidly in the more demanding dramatic sequences. In a cross between her flapper/dancer and shopgirl persona, her sensible girl on her own is a charming counterpoint to the two flightier but equally charming roommates. The camera also has a love affair with her at times, lingering over her perfectly sculpted face in show room sequences. Page, as usual, impresses as a perhaps underappreciated talent, revealing a fine dramatic potential and range.

In all, it's hard not to like these girls. With their big, soft eyes; trim and feminine forms; vulnerability; and wistful voices, hiding mess behind sofa cushions for guests and rinsing out stockings in the sink, these "blushing brides" are immensely appealing.

Three stars out of four

Other Reviews

Lucius Beebe in the New York Times (1930) said, "It is all quite lamentable and would be downright depressing in its spurious elegance if it were not for the humorous and intelligent acting of Joan Crawford, who plays the part of a mannequin with enough assurance for a marchessa and enough virtue for a regiment."

Photoplay (1930) said, "You must see Joan Crawford in those lace step-ins! Swell box office picture!"

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