Monday, March 26, 2012

That Certain Woman(1937).

That Certain Woman(1937). Drama film written and directed by Edmund Goulding. It is a remake of Goulding's 1929 film The Tresspasser, Gloria Swanson's first sound film. Cast: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda and Anita Louise.

Young widow of gangster Al Haines, Mary Donnell.. is now working under an assumed name as a secretary for a well known wealthy attorney Lloyd Rogers. When a journalist Virgil Whitaker, threatens to expose her past. Rogers and Mary, ask Whitaker not to print the story. Although, she is still worried that the story will still be printed. Mary, thinks it would be best, to turn down wealthy Jack Merrick's marriage proposal.

He eventually, changes her mind and on their wedding night, Jack's father wants the marriage annulled. Mary leaves, hoping that Jack will come after her. She moves in with her friend Amy and hides her son Jackie, from the Merrick family.

Jack, then marries society girl Florence "Flip" Carson, but on their honeymoon, Flip is crippled in an car accident.

Needing help, Mary accepts Rogers financial support, hoping that Mrs. Rogers will not be hurt. Hunter doesn't really care because he's in a loveless marriage. One day, Rogers dies in Mary's apartment and it gets out that Jackie is Jack's child.

Jack visits Mary, to see if the rumors are true and learns that he is Jackie's father. Merrick, Sr. takes legal action to adopt Jackie, but it is Flip, who talks Mary into giving Jackie up.

Years later, Virgil, who has befriended Mary during her troubles, finds her in Monte Carlo and tells her that Flip is dead, leaving Jack free to return to Mary.

What I loved most about the film, was how the women all seemed to care about doing the right thing.

Anita Louise (January 9, 1915 – April 25, 1970), made her acting debut on Broadway at the age of six, and within a year was performing regularly in Hollywood films. By her late teens she was being cast in leading and supporting roles in important film, and was best known for her delicate features and blonde hair.

As her stature in Hollywood grew, she was described as one of cinema's most fashionable and stylish women. Her reputation was further enhanced by her role as Hollywood society hostess, with her parties attended by the elite of Hollywood, and widely and regularly reported in the news media.

Among her film successes were Madame Du Barry (1934), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), The Story of Louis Pasteur (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), Marie Antoinette (1938), The Sisters (1938), and The Little Princess (1939).

By the 1940s, she was reduced to minor roles until television gave her more opportunities. In middle age she played one of her most widely seen roles as the gentle mother, Nell McLaughlin, in the CBS television series My Friend Flicka from 1956–1957, with co-stars Johnny Washbrook, Gene Evans, and Frank Ferguson.


  1. Not a favorite of mine, Dawn. Though, I do like Bette Davis' portrayal better than Gloria Swanson's.

  2. You know I adore Bette...she's easily my #1 gal. I've only seen this one once, and it was maybe 3 years ago, so I don't really remember it that well. I need to do a re-watch.

  3. This was adapted into a "Lux Radio Theater" production on Oct. 31, 1938, and as was often the case, different stars substituted for the leads. Here, instead of Bette Davis and Henry Fonda, the lead characters were portrayed by...Carole Lombard and Basil Rathbone.

  4. Dawn - I saw this film for the first time last year. It isn't one of Bette's(or Mr. Fonda's) best, but it isn't their worst either. Interesting background on Anita Louise who added so much grace to the films she appeared in.

  5. Kim, I agree.. not one of my favorite Bette films. I had not seen it before and was curious. Anita, looked beautiful.

    Patti, I liked it well enough to watch it again, but.. not to add it to my DVD collection.

    VP81955, That is a very interesting combo.. I could see Carole Lombard and Basil Rathbone, in the parts.

    The Lady Eve, Anita Louise, really is beautiful actress. I'm very surprised that she did not hit it "big".


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