"Lady of the Night" (1925)
Cast: Norma Shearer~Malcolm McGregor~George K. Arthur~Fred Esmelton~Dale Fuller~Lew Harvey~Betty Morrissey~Gwen Lee~Aryel
Houwink~Joan Crawford as Norma Shearer's double (uncredited)
Release date - February 23, 1925
Running time - 6 reels
Directed by - Monta Bell
Writing Credits - Alice D. G. Miller, Adela Rogers St. Johns (story)
Producer - Louis B. Mayer
Cinematographer - Andre Barlatier
Studio - MGM - Black and White - Silent
Box Office Figures for "Lady of the Night": N/A
Norma Shearer plays a dual roles in this critically acclaimed masterpiece. She plays Molly (Norma Shearer), a poor gangster's
mole, and at opposite ends of the scale, she plays, the rich society type, Florence (Norma Shearer). Despite their obvious
similarity in the looks department, no one in the film notices this coincidence. Molly and Florence is Norma Shearer to the
audience only, to the characters in the film, they are both very different women.
Director, Monta Bell and Norma Shearer were lovers at the time of production and her aching sensitivity in her performance
shows a definite intimacy with her director. Norma Shearer tapped emotions like no other actress of her time and with the
combination of Monta Bell guiding her (in more ways than one) she gives one of her best performances here. Joan is uncredited
in Lady Of The Night, she was brought on board to play Norma Shearer's double, when needed.
Joan's salary was $75 per week.
Inflation worth in 2007: $885.80 a week
"New York Times" says... "Although "Lady of the Night," the current film attraction at the Capitol,
is interesting, it is not to be classed with many artistic efforts and certainly not to be compared with Charles Chaplin's
"A Woman of Paris." or Seastrom's "He Who Gets Slapped." Throughout this production Monta Bell, the director,
has manifested a penchant for exaggeration, and he also causes some of his characters to be hopelessly ignorant of elementary
"Norma Shearer plays a dual rôle. She is seen as Florence, the daughter of a wealthy and powerful financier,
and also as Molly, a frequenter of crooks' resorts, who lives in a hovel. The outstanding note in this picture is in having
the two girls fall in love with the same man—David, a young inventor, whose workshop is adjacent to Molly's flat.
The dénouement of the story is not particularly original. One might almost say that it is obvious."
"Miss Shearer does the best acting she has ever done. She is splendid as Molly, who wears weird clothes and has
a flair for imitation aigrette feathers. She is comely, sympathetic and attractively gowned as Florence."
"George K. Arthur, who played the rôle of the Boy in "The Salvation Hunters," also gives an efficient
performance, but his portrayal of stupidity and ignorance is hardly in keeping with other inclinations of the character. Some
men have strange ideas when it comes to dressing, but the suit worn by Oscar (Mr. Arthur) would be laughed at even in remote
corners of the Bowery. The coat is an exaggerated model of the slash in the back with the long skirts and six small buttons
as close together as they can be stitched. Oscar has a hankering to look like the Prince of Wales, and in the last scene he
appears in a loose golf suit, with a black twoquart cowboy's hat with an expression of intense self-satisfaction."
"Malcolm McGregor impersonates David, Molly becomes infatuated with him despite the fact that her young man is
supposed to be Oscar. When David has a meal with Molly. Oscar is left out in the cold, sitting on a chair with the dog, an
"One of the ludicrous scenes is where Florence drives down in her expensive limousine to call on David. She is
dressed as if to go to a smart dance, which one might gather is an unusual affectation when one is calling on an inventor
in a squalid section of the city. David chats with her, tells her how good Molly has been, and then Florence rises to leave.
We consider that even a young inventor would escort his sweetheart to her automobile. Apparently it isn't done, as David,
the beau-ideal of manhood, so gallant when it comes to kissing, permits his sweetheart to leave unescorted."
"One would almost imagine that Mr. Arthur had offered some hints in the making of this picture, as there is an
occasional suggestion in it of "The Salvation Hunters." Not that it is as gloomy as that pointless production, but
that some of the characters are unduly slow in their movements."
"Undoubtedly there are certain good ideas in this pictorial effort and some of the subtitles are witty. It is
entertaining most of the time, but now and again annoying."
-Mordaunt Hall (March 3, 1925)
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