Director: Leo McCarey

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Gloria Swanson had been a big silent film star. Indiscreet (aka, Careless Heart, 1931) was her third talkie, the first to be a hit at the box office, & her last for some while. Her transition into talkies was not smooth & already in 1931 she's looking a little hard around the edges. This one, however, did so well that struggling United Artists was back on the map.

IndiscreetSwanson plays Gerry, a society girl who after a long affair breaks it off with Jim (Monroe Owsley) who is constitutionally incapable of fidelity. She soon after meets Tony (Ben Lyon), the man of her dreams.

Gerry's naive younger sister Joan (Barbara Kent) after her education in a Paris convent school returns to New York already engaged to be married -- to the very wastrel Gerry dumped! He may have pursued the girl out of a vendetta against Gerry, but whatever his reasons, he's still a faithless horndog & even as wedding plans are being laid with Joan, he's trying to start things back up with Gerry.

Of course Joan will hear nothing against him, & has even tossed aside her childhood sweetheart, a Jimmy Olsen type called Buster (Arthur Lake). I couldn't blame Joan really, since if Gerry gets to be courted by Tony the Clark Kent type, why is Joan supposed to settle for a Jimmy Olsen? I guess only because he's better than Lex Luthor.

The acting style throughout Indiscreet borders on the goofy, with lots of the upbeat jolliness expected of lightweight romantic comedies, & Swanson even gets to sing a couple lovely ditties. There's an especially funny routine when Gerry pretends to be afflicted with "a slight dash" of insanity.

Toward the climax Gerry permits Jim to court her so that he won't destroy Joan's life. She arranges for Joan to catch them together, which of course isn't the happiest moment for Joan, & does not immediately fill her with gratitude toward her sister. Plus Gerry's behavior convinces Tony she's the unfaithful sort, & he decides to hop a steamer for Europe.

With everything in turmoil, is there any possibility that everything will work out grandly for estranged couples Joan & Buster, & Gerry & Tony? Do birds twitter in the trees?

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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