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Live, Love and Learn

Live, Love and Learn(1937)

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When society girl Julie Stoddard crashes into Bohemian artist Bob Graham's easel during a fox hunt, he thinks she is too pampered to appreciate life outside her insulated existence. A short time later they are married, even though Bob tries his best to dissuade her during the wedding ceremony. At Bob's New York apartment, Julie is happy to live an ordinary life, but he still promises to "paint his darndest" to provide her with the luxuries to which she is accustomed. He has little success selling his work until he inadvertently causes a riot in Central Park when some marines and sailors fight over the merits of a picture he is painting. A newspaper description of Bob's paintings piques the interest of art dealer Charles C. Bawltitude, who offers to show them in his gallery, even though Bob, Julie and their friend Oscar rough up him when they think he is a reporter. The show is a success and Bob becomes a society darling. Soon, under the guidance of Julie's snobbish friend, Lily Chalmers, Bob rents a swank apartment and begins to prefer luxuries to the simple life. Bob begins taking large commissions for portraits of rich patrons, but his artistic integrity suffers and Julie becomes increasingly unhappy. When Lily obtains a commission for him to paint a race horse that belongs to the wealthy Mr. Palmiston, on the same day that Bob alters a portrait to flatter a society woman, Julie is disgusted. She is even more upset, though, when Bob rudely dismisses Professor Fraum of a local art school when Fraum asks him to attend a "Robert Graham Evening" he has planned for the school. When Julie then paints a moustache on the portrait and is congratulated by Oscar, Bob orders him to get out, after which Julie asks for a divorce. A few weeks later, while Bob is taking a steam bath to cure a hangover, he encounters Bawltitude, who tells him he has sold his talent and will never paint anything good again. Stung by the comments, Bob picks up a street urchin to pose for him and attempts to recapture his talent. After repeatedly trying to paint the boy, though, Bob becomes convinced that Bawltitude is right. Meanwhile, Lily goes to Julie to deny that she has had any part in breaking up her marriage, but Julie tells her to leave, then plots with Oscar to get Bob back. The next day, Oscar goes to Bob and tells him that Julie still wants a divorce, and Bob reluctantly agrees and offers to provide grounds that night. Oscar suggests returning to his old studio for the occasion, but Bob says that he must first speak to Professor Fraum's class. While Julie secretly listens, Bob tells Fraum's students to learn from his mistakes and not compromise their art for financial gains or measure their success by money. Later, at the studio, Julie arrives, instead of a paid corespondant, and she and Bob reconcile. Finally, to prove to Bawltitude that he will regain his talent, Bob steals the race horse potrait from Palmiston, and when Palmiston shows up, Bawltitude joyfully helps Bob, Julie and Oscar push Palmiston through the painting.