The Lady Refuses (1931)

72 mins | Melodrama | 8 March 1931

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Children of the Streets , Ladies for Hire , A Lady for Hire and Forgotten Women . MPH reviewed the picture under both Lady for Hire and Forgotten Women . A FD release chart claims that the screenplay was taken from Robert Milton and Guy Bolton's "A Lady for Hire," but it is not clear whether this title refers to a screen story or a literary work. All other sources refer to the story as a screen "original." An Oct 1930 FD news item announced that Jane Murfin was adapting the story, but her contribution to the final film has not been determined. A FD pre-production news item announced H. B. Warner as Compson's co-star, but that actor did not appear in the final ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Children of the Streets , Ladies for Hire , A Lady for Hire and Forgotten Women . MPH reviewed the picture under both Lady for Hire and Forgotten Women . A FD release chart claims that the screenplay was taken from Robert Milton and Guy Bolton's "A Lady for Hire," but it is not clear whether this title refers to a screen story or a literary work. All other sources refer to the story as a screen "original." An Oct 1930 FD news item announced that Jane Murfin was adapting the story, but her contribution to the final film has not been determined. A FD pre-production news item announced H. B. Warner as Compson's co-star, but that actor did not appear in the final film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
19 Oct 30
p. 4.
Film Daily
2 Dec 30
p. 4.
Film Daily
12 Dec 30
p. 6.
Film Daily
21 Dec 30
p. 4.
Film Daily
11 Jan 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
15 Feb 31
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jan 31
p. 51.
Motion Picture Herald
31 Jan 31
p. 53.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Mar 31
p. 90.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Lady for Hire
Forgotten Women
Ladies for Hire
Children of the Streets
Release Date:
8 March 1931
Production Date:
completed early January 1931
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 March 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2050
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
72
Length(in feet):
6,449
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On a foggy London night, Sir Gerald Courtney saves June, a prostitute, from being arrested on his doorstep by telling the police that she is his niece. In need of money, June agrees to use her charms to help Gerald rescue his son Russell from the clutches of Berthine Waller, a gold digger. After buying a lavish wardrobe on Gerald's expense account, June shows up at Russell's apartment building and, as a drunken Russell watches, pretends to be locked out of the apartment that she has just rented below his. While maintaining a ladylike facade, June lures him into her apartment and cajoles him into passing out on her bed. The next morning Russell wakes up in June's bed, having stood up Berthine the night before, and is mortified. After June assures him that he is still a gentleman, Russell begins to date her, then stops drinking and going out with Berthine and starts a promising career as an architect. Satisfied that Russell has reformed, Gerald and June declare their love for each other, and June, sure that he will understand, vows to tell Russell the truth. When June confesses that she is in love with his father, a heartbroken Russell denounces both her and Gerald and telephones Berthine. To prevent Russell from seeing Berthine upstairs, June pulls him into her apartment and pretends to be the callous "lady for hire" he believes her to be. Drunk, Russell passes out on June's bed again, unaware that Berthine has been murdered in his apartment by her jealous fortune-hunting partner, Nikolai Rabinoff. When Russell wakes up, he finds a farewell note from June, ... +


On a foggy London night, Sir Gerald Courtney saves June, a prostitute, from being arrested on his doorstep by telling the police that she is his niece. In need of money, June agrees to use her charms to help Gerald rescue his son Russell from the clutches of Berthine Waller, a gold digger. After buying a lavish wardrobe on Gerald's expense account, June shows up at Russell's apartment building and, as a drunken Russell watches, pretends to be locked out of the apartment that she has just rented below his. While maintaining a ladylike facade, June lures him into her apartment and cajoles him into passing out on her bed. The next morning Russell wakes up in June's bed, having stood up Berthine the night before, and is mortified. After June assures him that he is still a gentleman, Russell begins to date her, then stops drinking and going out with Berthine and starts a promising career as an architect. Satisfied that Russell has reformed, Gerald and June declare their love for each other, and June, sure that he will understand, vows to tell Russell the truth. When June confesses that she is in love with his father, a heartbroken Russell denounces both her and Gerald and telephones Berthine. To prevent Russell from seeing Berthine upstairs, June pulls him into her apartment and pretends to be the callous "lady for hire" he believes her to be. Drunk, Russell passes out on June's bed again, unaware that Berthine has been murdered in his apartment by her jealous fortune-hunting partner, Nikolai Rabinoff. When Russell wakes up, he finds a farewell note from June, which admonishes him to forgive his father. Now the police's main murder suspect, Russell hides in his father's house but refuses to name June in his alibi. Eventually, June reveals that Russell spent the night in her place and is rejected by Gerald. Devastated by Gerald's lack of trust, June exits into the fog before Russell can explain that he was alone in June's apartment. A shamed Gerald then vows to follow June "wherever" she goes. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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