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The Lady Consents

(1936 b 76')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A doctor divorces his wife to marry a younger woman. The wife is very understanding and lets him go without animosity, and he learns that his new wife is not as kind.

Dr. Michael J. Talbot (Herbert Marshall) is thrown off his horse again, but athletic Gerry Mannerly (Margaret Lindsay) wants the horse. Michael meets her but refuses. She tries to ride the horse and is thrown. Dr. Talbot treats her and then kisses her. He tells his wife Anne Talbot (Ann Harding) that he did.

Gerry gets Michael to take her to lunch, and he calls Anne and lies to her. Anne meets his father Jim Talbot (Edward Ellis) at the boat. Stanley Ashton (Walter Abel) is attracted to Anne. They are shooting craps, and she wins.

Anne invites Gerry to a costume party. Susan (Ilka Chase) warns Gerry and tries to tell Anne. Michael dances with Gerry, and she says she is ending it so as not to hurt Anne. He tells Gerry he loves her, and she loves him. Michael tells Anne that he is in love with Gerry, and Anne wants him to be happy. Anne tells Jim that she is going to Reno, and he consoles her.

Stanley sends Anne telegrams as she is traveling. He, Yardley (Hobart Cavanaugh), and Jim welcome her home, and they drink. Anne goes to Gerry's wedding with Stanley, and afterward she tells him she feels free.

Jim criticizes Michael for dressing up for dinner every night. Michael has to go to the hospital, and Gerry objects. He gets home at 5 a.m. and says his friend died. Gerry just wants to sleep. Jim gives Michael food and talks with him.

Jim calls on Anne, who gives him a beer. Stanley asks Anne to marry him, and she wishes she could. Jim takes beer to Gerry, who plays pool with him. She hints that she does not like Jim there, and he decides to leave.

At his hunting lodge Jim is accidentally shot by his rifle. Anne gets a call and meets Michael on the train. They visit Jim, and he dies.

Anne declines to marry Stanley. Michael calls on Anne at Christmas time, and they play piano until Susan comes in. Michael goes home and asks Gerry for a divorce. She says never and goes out without him. Michael goes out to dinner with Anne and says he loves her.

Susan tells Anne that Michael and Gerry are separated, and he is at the lodge. Anne has Stanley call her and pretends that it is Michael to fool Susan. Anne goes to see Michael to compromise him. She kisses him as Gerry walks in. Gerry refuses to divorce. Anne says that Michael owes her $10,000 a year alimony and the house. Gerry threatens to get it all in a divorce and walks out. Anne and Michael realize they are poor, but they embrace happily.

This romantic contrasts the difference between honest, unconditional love which does not become jealous and the selfish, ambitious kind that is really self-love masquerading as love for another.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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