6.5/10
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13 user 8 critic

The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932)

Molly Louvain's plans for a respectable marriage with her sweetheart Jimmy fall through so she takes to the road with a two-bit crook and becomes wanted by the police in connection with a high-profile crime.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Maurine Dallas Watkins (play) (as Maurine Watkins), Erwin S. Gelsey (adaptation) (as Erwin Gelsey) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ann Dvorak ... Molly Louvain
Lee Tracy ... Scotty Cornell
Richard Cromwell ... Jimmy Cook
Guy Kibbee ... Pop - a Policeman
Leslie Fenton ... Nicky Grant
Frank McHugh ... Skeets - a Reporter
Evalyn Knapp ... Doris
Charles Middleton ... Captain Slade
Mary Doran ... Dance Hall Girl
Thomas E. Jackson Thomas E. Jackson ... Police Sergeant (as Thomas Jackson)
C. Henry Gordon ... Detective Martin
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Storyline

Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Molly Louvain is seen as no good, but she dreams of living respectably with her sweetheart Jimmy, who has promised to marry her. When Molly arrives at Jimmy's house to finally meet his mother she is informed that both Jimmy and his mother have been called out-of-town suddenly and that the dinner has been canceled. Heartbroken and carrying Jimmy's unborn child, Molly takes to the road with Nicky Grant, a small-time crook from her past. A couple years pass and she leaves her daughter in the care of another woman. One night Jimmy and his college pals visit the dance hall where Molly works as a hostess. Jimmy and Molly are happy to see one another and catch up on old times. Drunk and jealous, Nicky orders Molly and Jimmy into a car he has stolen. When the police spot the car, Nicky fires some shots and runs into an alley, hitting an officer before being wounded himself. Molly drives off in the car with Jimmy. With a cop dead, the entire city is on ... Written by Jimmy L.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 May 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Molly Louvain See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Willard Robertson is in studio records in the role of Sergeant Murdock, but he was not seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

The title character's name is misspelled "Molly Louvaine" in a newspaper headline. See more »

Quotes

Scotty Cornell: Do you think that double-crossing dame could have given me a phony number?
Molly Louvain: I thought you said you knew your types?
Scotty Cornell: Sure I did, you're the same class - just one of the tinsel girls.
Molly Louvain: What do you mean "tinsel"?
Scotty Cornell: Look swell on a Christmas tree but you can't stand up in the rain.
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Soundtracks

When We're Alone (Penthouse Serenade)
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by Val Burton and Will Jason
Played during the opening credits and at the end
Played on piano, hummed and partially sung by Ann Dvorak
Played on the radio and at the dance hall
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User Reviews

 
The plot leaves something to be desired
27 December 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Molly Louvain is a girl who has become pregnant by a rich young fellow that loves her and wants to marry her. He has told her that he intends to tell his mother that night before Molly gets to his house to attend his birthday party. However, when Molly shows up at the family estate she is told by the butler that mother and son left suddenly for Europe. Apparently Molly's fiancé loved mother's millions more than he loved Molly and no doubt Molly's would-have-been mother-in-law could not tolerate the idea of a member of the huddled masses being her future daughter-in-law. All alone in the world, Molly turns to shady character Nicky Gant, who takes her away from her home town and out on the road. Molly figures he's possibly financing their way with stick-ups, but Molly asks no questions as she has a baby to think of. One day Nick gets in a shoot-out with the cops with Molly at the wheel of the car, and suddenly Molly is up to her neck in Nick's past and present illegal activities. She dyes her hair blonde and decides to hide out under a false name in a small apartment until the heat is off. Molly has two problems that complicate matters even further - she is unable to go check on her baby, who she has left with kindly acquaintances, and ambitious reporter Scotty Cornell lives across the hall and is determined to find Molly Louvain and crack the story of a lifetime.

This film is watchable largely because nobody plays a woman suffering from the internal moral struggle of good versus evil like Ann Dvorak (as Molly Louvain) and nobody plays the smart aleck reporter that will do anything for a story like Lee Tracy (as Scotty Cornell). However, the film seems incomplete in so many ways. There is no chemistry between Tracy and Dvorak at all, and a story like this needs their chemistry in order to have their relationship in the film seem something other than tacked on. The ending is also woefully incomplete. It seems like Warners ran out of budget and the powers that be just said "stop here and write some dialogue to round this thing out".

I'd recommend this just to see Lee Tracy and Ann Dvorak do the kind of acting they do best, just don't expect the kind of precode sizzle you saw in any of James Cagney's and Joan Blondell's films.


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