Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Last of Mrs. Cheney (1937)

Via CM staff blogger Debbie. A big thanks to Debbie for helping keep us going!

The Last of Mrs. Cheyney was based on the play of the same name by Frederick Lonsdale.  The film was produced three times, once in 1929 starring Norma Shearer and Basil Rathbone and in 1951 as The Law and the Lady with Greer Garson and Michael Wilding.  The second production is my subject for today.  The Last of Mrs. Cheyney filmed in 1937, starred Joan Crawford and my two favorite actors, Robert Montgomery and William Powell.

This production involves a group of British aristocracy and a group of jewel thieves.  The aristocratic group includes Robert Montgomery, the wonderful Frank Morgan, Jessie Ralph, Nigel Bruce, Benita Hume & Ralph Forbes.  The thieves are played by Joan Crawford, William Powell, Melville Cooper, Leonard Carey and Sara Hadden.   Joan Crawford poses as a wealthy widow in order to infiltrate the group of true aristocrats and steal a pearl necklace.   William Powell poses as her butler, but in fact is the leader of the group of thieves.

Bob Montgomery and Bill Powell amusing themselves between takes.

Crawford’s character, Fay Cheyney, is pursued by two of the titled men, Lord Arthur Dilling (Robert Montgomery) and Lord Francis Kelton (Frank Morgan).  Both men have fallen in love with her and both propose to her.  She starts to rethink the theft when she realizes the life she could have with either of her suitors.  Charles (William Powell) is also in love with her and is willing to let her abort the plan to steal the necklace to allow her the chance of a better life.

Cast between takes during production

It’s a fun movie with a wonderful cast.  Just being able to see my two favorite actors in the same film was reason enough for me to watch it, but the whole ensemble cast is a joy.

TCM will be showing this film on June 8th.  Catch it if you can.  You won’t be disappointed!

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