Monday, April 15, 2013

Pre-Code: Ladies They Talk About (1933).

Pre-Code: Ladies They Talk About(1933). Based on the play Women in Prison by Dorothy Mackaye and Carlton Miles. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster and Lillian Roth.

Nan Taylor, is arrested after helping two men during a bank robbery. David Slade, a radio evangelist, recognizes Nan as a former classmate. Taking advantage of his feelings for her, Nan tells him that she is innocent of the crime and asks for his help.

He agrees and she is paroled into Slade's care, until she confesses to Slade, that she actually was involved in the robbery. Slade, no longer feels he can help Nan and she is sentenced to prison.

In the nicest prison I ever saw, she refuses to see Slade, until Nan learns that the other members of he gang have been arrested. She slips a letter into Slade's pocket which contains information about their escape and the police find it and her paroled denied..

She believes that Slade turned her in, so when she is released, she goes looking for him pretending to be sorry for her crimes, shoots him in the heat of the moment... will he survive?

Some very risque (for 1933) lines and situations in this pre- code film. Barbara Stanwyck's character's romantic relationship with Preston Foster, does not make much sense but.. it is still fun movie to watch.. some good acting at the end..

Lillian Roth (December 13, 1910 — May 12, 1980), was only 6 years old when her mother took her to Educational Pictures, where she became the company's trademark, symbolized by a living statue holding a lamp of knowledge.

The following year she made her Broadway debut in, The Inner Man.

Her motion picture debut came in 1918 in Pershing's Crusaders as an extra.

Together with her sister Ann she toured as "Lillian Roth and Co." At times the two were billed as "The Roth Kids". One of the most exciting moments for her came when she met U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The President took Lillian and her sister for a ride around the block in his chauffeur driven car, after attending a performance of their vaudeville act.

She performed in, Artists and Models in 1923 and went on to make Revels. During production for the former show, she told management she was nineteen years of age.

In 1927, when Roth was seventeen years old, she made the first of three Earl Carroll Vanities, which was soon followed by, Midnight Frolics, a Florenz Ziegfeld production.

Soon she signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. Among the films she made with Paramount were: The Love Parade (1929) with Maurice Chevalier, The Vagabond King (1930), Paramount on Parade (1930), Honey (1930; in which she introduced "Sing, You Sinners"), Cecil B. DeMille's Madam Satan (1930) with Reginald Denny and Kay Johnson, Sea Legs with Jack Oakie, and the Marx Brothers second film, Animal Crackers (1930).

She took over Ethel Merman's stage role in the film version of, Take a Chance, singing "Eadie Was a Lady". After leaving Paramount, she had a supporting role in the women's prison film Ladies They Talk About (1930) with Barbara Stanwyck.

Unfortunately, her personal life was overshadowed by her addiction to alcohol. Roth was out of the limelight from the 1930's.

Roth was married at least five times: aviator William C. Scott ("Willie Richards"), Judge Benjamin Shalleck, Eugene J. Weiner ("Mark Harris"), Edward Goldman ("Vic") and Thomas Burt McGuire.

Her last employment included: work at a bakery, hospital attendant and package wrapper and she cut pies at the Automat.

In 1971, she returned to feature films, which she had left in 1934, to play a pathologist in the cult horror classic Alice, Sweet Alice (also known as Communion) in 1976.

Her last film was Boardwalk, with Lee Strasberg, Ruth Gordon and Janet Leigh (1979).

Roth died from a stroke in 1980, at the age of 69.


  1. My goodness, Babs does look young in that picture. You're right, that prison was pretty nice and Nan and David's relationship doesn't make much sense.

  2. This looks like an interesting movie - I will definitely keep my eye out for it. Thanks for a spotlight on Lillian Roth. She was such a fun performer - her eary film work is a delight.

  3. Roth is definitely a beauty, and Ladies is a cute little lark. Thanks for the review, and I love those pics!

  4. I had to laugh when you mentioned "the nicest prison" you ever saw. And how about the nicest hair, too! Did the prison have a stylist?

    Thanks for highlighting Lillian Roth. I knew very little about her.

  5. KimWilson, By the end of the film, I was thinking what is wrong with this guy?

    FlickChick, Like you I did not know much about, Lillian Roth. So, I thought I would learn more about her and her career.

    Danny, Thank you for the shout-out. :)

    Silver Screenings, not to mention the stylish prison uniforms..


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