Pre Code Hollywood Season: FD Cinematheque
Morals for Women (1931)
Director: Mort Blumenstock
Cast: Bessie Love, Conway Tearle, John Holland, Natalie Moorhead, Emma Dunn, June Clyde, Edmund Breese, David Rollins, Lina Basquette, Virginia Lee Corbin, Otis Harlan
Helen Hutson, the secretary and mistress of New York businessman Van Dyne, is initially upset when her childhood sweetheart, Paul Cooper, comes to her office to visit. However, she agrees to have dinner with him after he says he is leaving town that night and, feigning a headache, breaks a date with Van.
They go dancing, and Paul, whom Helen once told not to come back into her life until he made good, proposes by the end of the evening. Helen avoids giving an answer, and at the train
They go dancing, and Paul, whom Helen once told not to come back into her life until he made good, proposes by the end of the evening. Helen avoids giving an answer, and at the train station before he leaves, she tries but fails to confess her involvement with Van.
Despite advice from her friend Katherine, Helen, now in love with Paul, plans to return to her hometown of Greenfield, New York and tell him everything before they marry. In Greenfield, Helen finds that her younger sister Lorraine is infatuated with a wealthy boy from the southern school she is attending.
Her father, who has lost his job as a newspaperman, comes in drunk with friends, one of whom asks Helen to repay $200 that her father borrowed. When a boy in town makes insulting innuendos about Helen, her brother Bud defends her reputation, breaking a bottle over the boy’s head. After the sheriff tells Helen that the injured boy’s father will not press charges if he is paid for the hospital expenses, Helen reveals to Bud that the rumors are true.
He embraces her nonetheless, and Helen returns to New York where she placates Van by saying that Paul means nothing to her, and gets the money to bail Bud out of jail. Sometime later, on the night of a party Van demands she hold for some drunken business associates, Helen’s mother and father visit her apartment. That same day, Paul, who has come back from his trip, looks for her at the office, and meets Van instead.
When Paul announces their impending marriage, Van maliciously brings Paul to the party. Meanwhile, Helen’s mother has made lemonade for the surprised guests, while her father gets drunk with two of Van’s associates. When Van, in front of Paul, orders Helen to get him handkerchiefs from his drawer, Paul leaves in disgust. Helen leaves town the next day with her parents. They receive a telegram from Lorraine announcing her marriage, and Helen is happy that her sister is “safe.” Paul comes to the house, and as Bud and his mother watch from the window, Helen and Paul embrace and reconcile.
|Virginia Lee Corbin||…||
|Rest of cast listed alphabetically:|
Orchestra Leader (archive footage)
Film Collectors Corner
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Not released on Blu Ray