Mary Herries is a rich woman with a habit of contributing to those less fortunate than her. On her way home from a concert on Christmas Eve she discovers a poor, would-be artist outside her...
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Mary Herries is a rich woman with a habit of contributing to those less fortunate than her. On her way home from a concert on Christmas Eve she discovers a poor, would-be artist outside her estate. Mary takes pity on this artist, Henry Abbott, and gives him some food and money. After taking him in, she finds herself somewhat attracted to this artist; he is handsome, and quite knowledgeable of fine art, especially the paintings in Mary's extensive collection. However, when she discovers that Henry has both a wife and a small child that he is struggling to support, she gives him some money and hand-me downs, and sends him on his way. A few days later he shows up with some of his own paintings (which are absolutely awful) as well as some items he stole from Mary's house on Christmas Eve. Henry demands a large amount of money for his paintings, which Mary eventually pays. She then discovers that Henry has left his wife and baby outside, in the rain. His wife collapses and Mary, out of ...Written by
Jonathan Broxton <email@example.com>
The play of the same title upon which this film is based, opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., on April 23, 1935 and ran for 82 performances, plus another 20 at a different theater. A revival in 1940 ran for 107 performances. See more »
1935's "Kind Lady" may be held in less regard than its 1951 remake, but comes off better by casting Aline MacMahon and Basil Rathbone in the leads, both younger and more effective than Ethel Barrymore and Maurice Evans. The widowed Mary Herries still pines for the husband she lost during the Great War, and meets impoverished artist Henry Abbott in front of her door on Christmas Eve, inviting him in for a short visit. She banishes any thoughts of romance with the suave handsome stranger upon learning he has a wife and child, and resolves never to see him again. She sadly fails to reckon with his persistence however, enabling him to move in his family and 'friends,' driving all but the maid (Nola Luxford) out of the house, filled with valuable paintings and artifacts, now targeted by Abbott and his despicable entourage. Dependable players such as Murray Kinnell (as the murderous doctor), Dudley Digges, Frank Reicher, E. E. Clive, and Donald Meek make a terrific ensemble, as Mary feigns illness in seeking to regain the upper hand, an uphill struggle without outside help. Having debuted opposite Edward G. Robinson and Boris Karloff in 1931's "Five Star Final," Aline MacMahon enjoys one of her few starring roles, while Rathbone was only solidifying the villainous reputation he so richly deserved, until Sherlock Holmes succeeded in making audiences forget how deliciously wicked he could be (he'd already played Philo Vance in 1930's "The Bishop Murder Case").
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