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Mary, a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher. Her suitor Jimmy is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher's wife without telling Mary who she is.Written by
Diana Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"When Ladies Meet" stars Joan Crawford, Greer Garson, Robert Taylor, Herbert Marshall, and Spring Byington. It's a talky film obviously based on a play that starts out somewhat typically: A woman falls for a married man, but her boyfriend still loves her. The film turns to something else altogether "when ladies meet," i.e., the other woman and the wife. Greer Garson is the wife, married to Herbert Marshall, who plays Crawford's publisher, Rogers Woodruff, Crawford is Mary, the author/other woman, Taylor is the boyfriend, Jimmy, and Spring Byington is Bridget, a friend, in whose country house the big confrontations take place.
Like Norma Shearer's vehicle, "Her Cardboard Lover," a year later, this film looks and plays like a '30s leftover. Everyone is very good, and if Robert Taylor's broader attempts at comedy are a little forced, his physical comedy is quite funny, the scene in the boat being one of the best. Unlike his 20th Century Fox counterpart, Tyrone Power, Taylor was uncomplicated and not very ambitious. Devastatingly handsome, he was content at MGM for over 20 years - his big complaint once he was out of there was that he didn't know how to make dinner reservations. MGM would force Crawford out with bombs such as "Under Suspicion" two years later, but here, she gets top billing and does a good job as a woman who still has her romantic illusions. While Crawford and Taylor have comic moments, Herbert Marshall's role has none - he's deadly serious and oh, so sincere as he breathes his love for Mary.
But the show belongs to Greer Garson,. She has the best and the most sympathetic role as a woman who, despite numerous affairs, has loved and clung to her man. This and the constant talking make the movie somewhat dated - what woman would put up with such a serial philanderer after all (or, rather, admit to it) - but her character is extremely likable, her words heartfelt, her pain palpable, and she's stunning to look at as well.
Definitely worth seeing for the wonderful stars but not up to the usual quality of films these actors did. MGM was obviously going through a transition and recycling old material when the '40s hit. I think the 1933 version of this was probably superior if only due to it being more of its time.
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