Saturday, October 27, 2012

Outcast Lady(1934).

Outcast Lady(1934). Directed by Robert Z. Leonard. With Constance Bennett, Herbert Marshall, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Hugh Williams.

Sir Maurice, disproves of Iris March and his sons Napier Harpenden's, up coming marriage, because he believes that Iris will hurt his son's political career. As a compromise, Napier suggests that they wait to marry until he has established himself in the British diplomatic service in India.

After four years of waiting, Iris accepts the proposal of Fenwick, a wealthy friend of her brother.

When Napier receives word of Iris' engagement, he leaves India to attend her wedding in England. Just before the ceremony, a woman hands Iris a note, which Iris pockets without reading.

Then on her honeymoon, Iris remembers the note and starts to read it in front of Fenwick. Disturbed by the note, Iris tries to throw it away, but Fenwick insists on reading the note. When Iris asks if the note, which claims that, under an assumed name, Fenwick committed and served prison time for a heinous crime, is true. Boy, says that it is true. Although, Iris dismisses the confession, Fenwick is overcome with shame and jumps out of the hotel window to his death.

A passerby, Dr. Masters, and Hilary, a family friend, learn Boy's secret but, because Iris refuses to reveal the reason for Boy's suicide to anyone else, she is suspected both of pushing him out of the window and of causing his death. In spite of their love for her, even Napier and Gerald, who worshiped Boy, suspect Iris of treachery and turn their backs on her. Condemned by family and friends, Iris moves to France and becomes known as Europe's most notorious widow.

Five years later, Iris is notified by Hilary that Gerald is seriously ill and living in squalor and immediately returns to England to see him. After seeing Napier and hearing of his engagement to Venice, Iris goes to her brother's tenement.

Still angry at his sister, the drunken Gerald refuses to see her and fearing that he will die without forgiving her, Iris agrees to allow Hilary to tell him the truth about Boy. Before Hilary reveals Boy's past, Gerald declares his love for Iris and dies without learning the secret.

Although relieved by Gerald's forgiveness, Iris returns to France and lapses into a feverish, state. When he learns of Iris' illness, the now married Napier, who has just distinguished himself as a Parliamentary leader, rushes to be with her. When Venice sees Iris and Napier together, she understands the depth of their love but, because of Iris' unexplained past, worries that her husband will one day be hurt.

Unable to keep Boy's secret any longer, Hilary finally tells Napier and Venice the truth, and Venice agrees to a divorce. Bothered by the thought that Napier has forgiven her without knowing Boy's secret, Iris recovers and prepares to face Sir Maurice. Although Sir Maurice, backs down from his condemnation of Iris when Napier finally tells him about Boy, Iris is unable go through with the divorce plan and commits suicide by deliberately crashing her automobile.

Constance Bennett, a first class actress, plays Iris, a penniless heiress, who she and her drunken brother live very well despite their circumstances...

Elizabeth Allan (9 April 1908 – 27 July 1990) was an English actress who worked in both Britain and Hollywood, making about 50 films over more than a quarter century.

She was born at Skegness, Lincolnshire in 1908 (some sources indicate 1910), and after four years onstage with the Old Vic, she made her film debut in 1931, first appearing in Alibi. She began her career appearing in a number of films for Julius Hagen's Twickenham Studios but also featured in Gainsborough's Michael and Mary and Korda's Service for Ladies.

In 1932 she joined Wilfred J. O'Bryen — to whom she had been introduced by actor Herbert Marshall — in a marriage that lasted until his death in 1977.

Her first US/UK co-production and first US production came in 1933, and she worked in the United States under contract with MGM. 1935 was her most memorable year in Hollywood, when she not only distinguished herself in two memorable Dickens' adaptations as David's unfortunate young mother in George Cukor's David Copperfield and as Lucie Manette in Jack Conway's A Tale of Two Cities, but was also featured in Tod Browning's Mark of the Vampire.

Allan did not think highly of the latter film, to which she had been assigned, and considered it "slumming". MGM announced her for a leading part in King Vidor's The Citadel, and, when she was subsequently replaced by Rosalind Russell, Elizabeth sued the studio. The studio retaliated by refusing to let her work, and, frustrated, she returned to the UK in 1938.

By the 1950s, Allan had made the transition to character parts. Particularly memorable is her appearance as Trevor Howard's brittle and dissatisfied wife in the film adaptation of Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter (1953). In 1958, she appeared as Boris Karloff's wife in The Haunted Strangler.


  1. Oh my goodness! Dawn, this review simply captivated me. I am headed directly to search for where I can find it. And, I'm adding you to my very exclusive list of High Quality Blogs. You existed on the list at my old site, but I've since re-designed and have been hand picking based on certain criteria. You will be added when I do administrative clean-up early next week. Thanks for what you do! Oh, how I love old film!!!

  2. Alas, "Outcast Lady" isn't part of November's TCM tribute to Connie as Star of the Month. To see what is, go to

  3. Nicole Marie Story, Thank you.. for adding me to your list of favorite blogs.

    I enjoy reading yours too..

    VP81955, Thank you for the link. I'm really looking forward to next month's star of the month.

  4. Sounds like a great flick! Love Constance Bennett - thanks for recommending.


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