Blondie of the Follies (1932)

Film Review

BLONDIE OF THE FOLLIES

Release Date: 1 September, 1932

Studio: MGM

Directors: Edmund Goulding

Starring: Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Billie Dove, James Gleason, Douglas Dumbrille

Related Discussion Topic: The Hays Code

Learn about the Motion Picture Production Code, also known as the Hays Code, in the Discussion Topics section.

Synopsis

Davies lives in a tenement apartment with her parents, her sister, and her sister’s husband and baby. Dove, Davies' childhood chum, has become a showgirl and moved into a fancy, uptown apartment. Dove has several male friends, including Montgomery, whom she loves, although he does not return her feelings. One night, Dove introduces Davies to Montgomery who takes her to a speakeasy where they talk until dawn, When he takes her home, Gleason, her father, is upset and angry. Davies assures him that nothing happened, and Montgomery tells Gleason that he respects Davies' innocence.

To help her financial situation, Montgomery gets Davies into the follies. Dumbrille, a rich oilman, likes blonds and is interested in Davies, who rejects his advances. Dove and Davies argue over Montgomery, and Davies promises to stay away from him. Davies accepts the offers of Dumbrille who sets her up in an expensive apartment. When Montgomery refuses to see Dove any more, she becomes angry with Davies, thinking Montgomery prefers her. During their act in the follies, Dove causes Davies to have an accident that breaks her leg and produces a permanent limp. Davies cannot work and returns home. However, Montgomery arranges for surgery on her leg. Proving his love, Montgomery makes the crucial decision and proposes marriage.

Discussion

The film contains elements of Marion Davies' own life. At age 18, she had been a showgirl with the Ziegfeld Follies and was familiar with their lavish stage shows. While still a showgirl, she had met her married lover, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. He supported her career and ensured that every aspect of her films was first rate, including the leading man. In addition to Montgomery, other leading men who played alongside Davies include Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, and Bing Crosby.