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""Our Modern Maidens" paired me up with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.,
and we all know where THAT led to!" - Joan Crawford

"Our Modern Maidens" 1929

Cast: Joan Crawford (as Billie Brown), Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Anita Page,
Josephine Dunn, Edward J. Nugent, Albert Gran


Release date - August 24, 1929

Running time - 70 minutes (8 reels)

Directed by - Jack Conway

Writing Credits - Josephine Lovett (story), Marian Ainslee and Ruth Cummings (titles)

Producer(s) - Jack Conway and Hunt Stromberg

Cinematographer - Oliver T. Marsh

Costumes - Adrian

Studio - MGM - Black and White - Silent

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Movie Synopsis

This sequel to Our Dancing Daughters, teamed real life couple Joan and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. together and made for a clever studio marketing campaign. The public's fascination with Hollywood's new "golden couple" ensured Joan's last silent film was a success. Billie (Joan) and Gil (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) are engaged to each other but end up falling for other people. In a controversial topic for the times, (before the inception of the Motion Picture Production Code), Gil gets Billie's best friend, Kentucky (Anita Page) pregnant! Despite Billie and Gil going through with their wedding as planned, everyone ends up with their true love in the end.

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Interesting Trivia

Box Office Receipts: $857,000.

Inflation Value in 2007: $10,421,771.52

Photos

Click on images below to see a larger view.

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Movie Posters/Lobby Cards etc...

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Reviews

Joan Crawford's Grandson, Casey Lalonde, says...

"A follow up to Our Dancing Daughters finds Joan in the same type of role, although this time coupled with real life husband Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Fireworks ensued and the film was a smash hit. Like Our Dancing Daughters, the film is weightless but entertaining and is a pleasure to see Doug and Joan onscreen together."

Reviewer, writerdonna7, says...

"Our Modern Maidens" is a semi-talkie about Jazz Age babies, part of a trilogy that began with "Our Dancing Daughters" (the film that launched Joan Crawford to stardom) and penned by the same author as "Daughters" Josephine Lovett. Music and occasional sound effects accompany the visuals (the best being the assembled girls yelling what they are preoccupied with: "Men! Men! Men!" which appears on soundtrack and in titles both), but aside from that exception, title cards are used throughout for the dialogue. With the young female stars dressed by Adrian and glittering Art Deco sets by Cedric Gibbons, it is visually bright and striking and for the most part, moves along at a clip that almost matches the dancing and the opening sequence of college kids in fast cars. Since Joan Crawford (as Billie Brown; interestingly, using her "real" first name or the one she used after being born Lucille LeSeur) and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (as Gil Jordan) had just announced their engagement off-screen, this film capitalized on the media frenzy by pairing them in this, their one and only film together and Crawford's last silent. And I have to say, as a duo, they have tremendous chemistry. They are both young, fun-loving and adorable and clearly besotted with one another.

The plot, such as it is, is inconsequential and thin, involving the usual mix-up of romantic duos and scandals. As flapper Billie, Crawford is an enthusiastic exhibitionist for the assembled jazz babies, wide-eyed and smiling and fetchingly flirtatious. She is still raw in the acting department with broad and exaggerated reactions and expressions, for the most part, lots of lip-biting and eye-rolling and manic activity, but her charisma is undeniable. In her big dancing scene, she is a whirling dervish, seemingly on speed, and immediately after spinning across the dance floor in a swirl of fabric, she lapses into a melodramatic pantomime. How fun that must have been for audiences of that time, ostensibly mimicking popular entertainment, as when Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. does a host of impersonations, including his own father.

The two couples that cross-pollinate and return to their intended (as by the script) mates are Crawford and Fairbanks, Jr. and Anita Paige as Kentucky and Rod LaRocque as Glenn Abbott. Strangely, LaRocque almost rapes Crawford in one scene, yanking her head back by the hair to kiss her and then telling her he doesn't want her, as Kentucky gets pregnant in a one-night stand with Fairbanks, but after Crawford and Fairbanks marry in a wonderfully decorative bridal sequence, the pairs are switched back so that Kentucky's baby will have a father, I suppose. LaRocque redeems himself by confessing that he really loves Billie.

Anyway, it's not a great film, but still a wonderful window into the period and a pleasant look at the young stars. To my mind, Paige practically steals the film as Crawford's best friend and the moments between the two women are great. Paige is blonde, adorable, and a terrific actress and she telegraphs well. But Crawford holds her own and then some; with her vivacious personality and joie de vivre, she shows clearly why she shot to stardom and influenced a generation as a "bright young thing with a taste for living."

Two and a half Stars out of Four.

Other Reviews

Photoplay summed the film up in one sentence, "Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., in a sequel to 'Our Dancing Daughters.' Must you be told that it's a sure-fire hit?" - It was.

Variety (1929) said, "Story is juvenile and silly but the sort of silliness the fans gobble by the carload....Miss Crawford's fans won't be disappointed, even a little bit. She wears her clothes as she always does and gives them the limit in a half-clad dance at one of her own house parties. Her pantomime is far-fetched but vivid."

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.

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