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The Girl From Missouri

(1934 b 72')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A poor but sexy girl is determined to keep her virtue until she can marry a millionaire.

This film announces it is approved by the motion picture code, and the virtuous story-line makes that influence clear. Eadie (Jean Harlow) runs away from her home in Missouri, where her step-father had her working as a dance partner. On the train she tells Kitty (Patsy Kelly) she has ideals and plans to marry a somebody. As a chorus girl she gets invited to a rich party by being nice to her boss. T. R. Paige (Lionel Barrymore) refuses to help financially Frank Cousins (Lewis Stone). Eadie plays up to Cousins and will not accept his gifts until he says they are engaged. Her boss fires her, and Cousins shoots himself. She gets T. R. to take the Cousins cufflinks from her stocking before she is searched.

Eadie visits T. R. at his office to thank him, saying she lost her job and that she wants to get married. T. R. gives her some cash and leaves for Palm Beach. Eadie and Kitty go there too and visit T. R.'s office, where they meet his son Tom (Franchot Tone). He invites them to lunch and kisses Eadie at the beach. He rents a boat, and Eadie leaves him behind to get to T. R.'s yacht. There Tom kisses her again, and she learns he is T. R.'s son. She plays it cool with him, because she wants a wedding ring. Tom rips her cheap dress and gives her a diamond bracelet; but she returns it. T. R. complains about Tom seeing Eadie. After they show her their palace, Tom agrees to drop her. T. R. leaves, and Eadie is locked in with Tom alone. She stands up for her virtue, and he lets her go.

In New York T. R. addresses a disarmament conference dinner. Tom tells him he wants to marry Eadie, believing she is "clean" in spite of her poor past. T. R. says all right but contacts the district attorney. Tom tells Eadie they are getting married. However, a man sneaks into her room and lets in the police and photographers. Eadie is accused of stealing Cousins jewelry and put in jail. She tells Tom that T. R. framed her, and they quarrel about his father. Tom's rival, the married Charlie Turner, bails out Eadie with $5,000. T. R. and Tom are sailing for London, but Eadie sets up a photo of her in lingerie with T. R. Kitty keeps the tipsy Eadie and Charlie Turner from being alone together until Tom arrives and puts Eadie in the shower. T. R. says he told the press he framed her and that she married Tom. So a quick wedding is arranged.

T. R. says he wants Eadie in their family, because she is a "fighter." With such greedy and unscrupulous characters in charge of the disarmament process, it is no wonder that it failed so completely in the 1930s. Apparently ruthless greed did not bother censors as long as they didn't have sex before marriage.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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