Midnight Mary (Wellman, 1933)

Midnight Mary (William A. Wellman, 1933)

Loretta Young’s Mary might be one of the most interesting characters I’ve seen in these early Wellman films. Despite being a part of a gang of thieves that leaves her feeling monetarily comfortable, she’s constantly struck with a sense of guilt and honorable independence, weaving back and forth between a life of poverty and honesty and a life of riches and fear. When she stumbles into a romantic relationship with a rich lawyer that ends before it really begins because of her past, I really felt the lost love theme was going to help this film soar. So much happens, however, in the last 20 minutes that it’s hard to really feel the soft poetry of two people separated by circumstances instead of choice. It’s there, but it’s covered up by social marriages, murder plots, and a really bad ending. As much as the end of Frisco Jenny saves that film, the end of this one almost ruins it.  7.25/10

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