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Ladies in Love

Ladies in Love(1936)

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Susie Schmidt, a naïve chorus girl, and her friend, Martha Karenye, who survives by doing odd jobs, rent a large apartment in a fashionable neighborhood in Budapest with Yoli Haydn, a sophisticated model. As they move in, Martha suggests that, according to a gypsy custom, they each count the corners of their room and make a wish. Susie wishes to own a hat shop and be independent of men, while Yoli wishes for a rich husband, and Martha, for a good home, someone to love and children. When Martha tells Dr. Rudi Imri, a poor novice doctor for whom she works, that she has moved across the river, Rudi, upset that she will not be able to come there as often as before, but unable to express his affection for her, fires her. Meanwhile, Yoli's lover, John Bartlett, visits the apartment with Count Karl Lange, who, after meeting Susie, invites her to join them at a party given by playboy Ben Hovath. Susie, infatuated with Karl, is very pleased. At the party, John finds Yoli alone with Horvath and starts to leave. Yoli, who has resolved to remain unaffected regarding John's plans to return to South America on business, leaves with him. Before her performance, Susie confides to Martha that she told Karl she loved him, but then ran away from him. After Susie's chorus number, Martha is called up on stage by Paul Sándor, an egotistical magician. Because she is fascinated by him and also needs a job, she convinces Sándor to hire her as a dresser, cook and all-around servant. Karl is waiting for Susie after the show, and he drives her home. Meanwhile, John and Yoli agree never to talk of love, but to be satisfied at being happy. In the midst of their discussion, they find Marie Armand, John's seventeen-year-old cousin by marriage, waiting in his apartment. She has run away after breaking off an engagement and seems infatuated with John. In the next few weeks, Martha tries to put some order in Sándor's life and berates him for drinking. To arouse her sympathy, Sándor complains of an affliction he calls "polydigitalitis," which he says affects his nerves and may lead to his inability to perform with his hands. When Martha visits Rudi, he is delighted, but when she tells him of her new job, he accuses her of being in love with Sándor. Meanwhile, Susie, arriving early at Karl's apartment, finds a letter from his fiancée, a countess in Paris whose mother has finally agreed to their marriage. At a club, Susie sees Karl enter with his fiancée, and after Susie effects a graceful exit, Karl calls her a sensible girl and expresses the wish to say goodbye pleasantly. When John reveals to Yoli that he plans to leave the next day on the six o'clock train, he confesses that he earlier returned to Budapest to find a wife who would live with him in the mining camps in the Andes. Yoli is about to open her heart to him, when again they find Marie in his apartment. Yoli leaves upset, and when Marie says that she wants to go with him to South America, they plan to get married and leave together the next day. When Sándor tries to get Martha to tell him she loves him, she admits that she felt happy watching over him when he was sick. He then kisses her passionately, but when he egotistically remarks that he worried, because of her earlier hesitancy, that he might have been losing his grip, she runs away. After Susie sees Karl and his fiancée enter the church to get married, she returns to the apartment where she gets drunk on champagne. Upset at Susie's depiction of her as not having a heart, Yoli leaves, saying that she may go to South America. Susie then puts poison into her own champagne glass, but Martha drinks it by mistake and passes out. At the train station, Yoli confesses to John that she loves him with all her heart, but that she would not say so before because of her pride. However, she sees Marie in the window of the train, and John reveals their marriage plans. Yoli says she is still glad she told him how she felt, then walks away with Horvath. Rudi saves Martha's life and reveals that he has been appointed to the staff of the institute. With Martha's encouragement, he proposes. Later, as Yoli, who has accepted Horvath's proposal, packs, the three ladies review their earlier wishes: Susie now has her hat shop, thanks to Yoli, who now has a rich husband, and Martha has a good home and someone to look after.