Indiscreet (1931) – reviewed by George

Gloria Swanson is the star of this well-written movie, which combines pre-Hays code drama with laughs and songs. Gloria sings two songs, one of them twice, and she has a light, clear operetta-like voice, which serves the material well. The transfer is passable – mostly good, but with a few bobbles where bits of dialog are lost. Leo McCarey directed – a big plus in an easy-going film about a cad and his effect on two sisters. Make no mistake: this is light entertainment, with all heartache forgotten by the end of a short film, only 1:13.

Gloria plays the older sister Gerry (Geraldine) Trent, Barbara Kent plays the younger sister Joan, and their good and decent suitors are Ben Lyon as Tony Blake, and Arthur Lake (later Dagwood Bumstead in the Blondie movies) as Buster Collins. Monroe Owsley (what a great name for an actor playing a rat) is the cad, Jim Woodward, who finally, after an actual affair with Gerry, proposes. But by this time she knows him too well to take any action except to dump him. Then she falls hard for Tony, and Jim the cad meets little sis Joan on a liner coming back to NYC from France, where Joan has been in school. He quickly sees Joan as a way to get back at Gerry. One of the funniest sequences occurs at a house party hosted by the rat’s parents, where Buster tells the Woodwards that insanity runs in the Trent family, and then Gloria has to convince them.

Should Gerry confess to Tony, who has indicated he doesn’t want to know about her past? That is a question that resonates in any year. Indiscreet is enjoyable and definitely recommended.

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