These Glamour Girls
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There's something light and sweetly appealing about Lana Turner in her earliest MGM films, particularly when she's cast as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Before the studio swathed her in glamour, they cast her in this likable social satire as a taxi dancer invited to a big college party by drunken playboy Lew Ayres. What starts as a cruel joke, turns into true love when Ayres finds there's more to her than most of the high society beauties he's supposed to be dating. Since Turner wasn't a big marquee name yet, MGM matched her with a quartet of female co-stars who all add to the film's luster. Jane Bryan (on loan from Warner Bros.) is Ayres's society sweetheart, ready to give up her family's wealth for working-class student Richard Carlson. Ann Rutherford of the Andy Hardy films is a debutante who gets dumped by her date. Anita Louise is the resident mean girl out to make trouble any way she can. And Marsha Hunt, in one of her favorite roles, provides the heavy dramatics as a young woman considered over the hill at 20. Within a few years, Turner would move up to star status, leaving little time for ensemble pieces like this. But while it lasted, she helped bring a youthful buoyancy to MGM's films that's hard to resist.
By Frank Miller