The Law of Contact

Those We Love (September 11, 1932)

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Mary Astor in Those We Love
 

Released on September 11, 1932: (running time 1 hour and 12 minutes) A new author meets and marries the girl that buys his very first published book, and they live happily ever after . . . NOT!

Produced by Phillip Dunning and John Golden

Directed by Robert Florey

The Actors: Mary Astor (May Ballard), Kenneth MacKenna (Freddie Williston), Lilyan Tashman (Valerie Parker), Hale Hamilton (Roger Blake), Tommy Conlon (Ricky), Earle Foxe (Bert Parker), Forrester Harvey (Jake, Bertha's boyfriend), Virginia Sale (Bertha, Freddie's maid), Pat O'Malley (Daley, private detective), Harvey Clark (Mr. Hart), Cecil Cunningham (Mrs. Henry Abbott), Edwin Maxwell (book publisher Marshall), Wilson Benge (unknown), Sidney Bracey (unknown), Hank Mann (unknown), Bert Roach (Bill, apartment neighbor), Christian Rub (Mr. Swenson, landlord)

 

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Is a Clever Lie better than a Clumsy Explanation?

Before digital books and podcasts and instant on-demand streaming movies there were books . . . no, not just books . . . grand romantic novels that entertained the world on quiet rainy afternoons . . . this is just such a novel made into a motion picture.

Before you watch this one, let me play with your head for a moment to put you in the proper frame of mind. I recently saw on a news program that today in about forty percent of American households the woman earns more than the man, but it was not always like this. During the Second World War so many men went to war, and the need for tanks, ships, planes and other materials to support the war was so great that for the first time in the history of the world women went to work outside the home, earning a paycheck every week.

We are going back before those days . . . before the Second World War, to the end of the First World War. It is Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, and the end of the first war that engulfed almost the entire world is over. In New York City, the whole town has gone wild . . . confetti flying out of tall windows . . . mobs of people in the streets shouting and singing and celebrating.

In the office of a book publisher a brand-new author is bemoaning the fact that because of the great celebration no one will buy his first novel today, the first day it is on the market. After leaving his publisher's office he is in the crowd when he spots a beautiful young girl who has just purchased his new novel. Wow . . . what are the chances of that?

Our young author falls immediately in love with the young girl and they get married and start a storybook life together. He is writing commercial copy to support them, and doesn't have time to work on his second novel, so she suggests something very revolutionary for the time . . . she will get a job giving piano lessons so that he can work on his next novel. Time passes and they both become very successful . . . and then the trouble begins.

Here is just a clue as to what you will find . . . in 1932 the Hays Office hadn't started censoring motion pictures very strictly, so adultery is allowed, and the dialogue and plot can be as honest and real as would happen in the real world. There may or may not be a happy ending, but no matter how it will end, the road will be filled with surprises that are very cutting-edge and shocking for movie audiences of 1932.

Before the end of this drama I was convinced that Mary Astor was not only one amazing actress, but her character in this melodrama was one helluva woman. Whether you are a really big and husky man or a little wisp of a woman, I double-dog dare you to keep a dry eye during the final five minutes.

I was surprised that almost a hundred years after this movie was filmed, our world and our relationships are not so different as they were in 1932. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Lilyan Tashman and Kenneth MacKenna
Lilyan Tashman and Kenneth MacKenna
Bert Roach and Kenneth MacKenna
Bert Roach and Kenneth MacKenna
Cecil Cunningham
Cecil Cunningham
Christian Rub
Christian Rub
Earle Foxe
Earle Foxe
Forrester Harvey and Virginia Sale
Forrester Harvey and Virginia Sale
Forrester Harvey
Forrester Harvey
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton, Mary Astor and Earle Foxe
Hale Hamilton, Mary Astor and Earle Foxe
Hale Hamilton at the Westchester Country Club
Hale Hamilton at the Westchester Country Club
Harvey Clark and Kenneth MacKenna
Harvey Clark and Kenneth MacKenna
Kenneth MacKenna
Kenneth MacKenna
Kenneth MacKenna and Lilyan Tashman
Kenneth MacKenna and Lilyan Tashman
Kenneth MacKenna and Lilyan Tashman
Kenneth MacKenna and Lilyan Tashman
Kenneth MacKenna and Virginia Sale
Kenneth MacKenna and Virginia Sale
Kenneth MacKenna
Kenneth MacKenna
Lilyan Tashman
Lilyan Tashman
Lilyan Tashman and Hale Hamilton
Lilyan Tashman and Hale Hamilton
Lilyan Tashman
Lilyan Tashman
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor and Hale Hamilton
Mary Astor and Hale Hamilton
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor and Lilyan Tashman
Mary Astor and Lilyan Tashman
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor and Kenneth MacKenna
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Pat O'Malley
Pat O'Malley
Tommy Conlon
Tommy Conlon
Tommy Conlon
Tommy Conlon