The Girl from Missouri


1h 15m 1934
The Girl from Missouri

Brief Synopsis

A gold-digging chorus girl tries to keep her virtue while searching for a rich husband.

Film Details

Also Known As
100% Pure, Born to Be Kissed, Eadie Was a Lady
Genre
Romance
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Aug 3, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Miami, Florida, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Determined to marry a millionaire and lead a decent life, Eadie Chapman leaves her mother's Missouri beer hall and travels with best friend Kitty Lennihan to New York City. There, she and Kitty find work as chorus girls and eventually are asked to entertain at the home of millionaire Frank Cousins. During his lavish party, Cousins begs T. R. Paige, a self-made millionaire and aspiring diplomat, for financial aid, but Paige, remembering the time when Cousins had refused him a loan, declines to help. After Paige leaves Cousins in his study, Eadie slips in and immediately begins to flirt with him. To Eadie's surprise, Cousins proposes to her and gives her a pair of jeweled cufflinks as an engagement present. As soon as Eadie leaves, however, Cousins kills himself, and Eadie is suspected of stealing the cufflinks. Because Paige helps her to hide the cufflinks from the police, Eadie makes him her new marital target. Although the knowing Paige rebuffs Eadie's flirtations, she pursues him to Palm Beach with Kitty in tow. At Paige's Palm Beach office, Eadie meets his admiring son, Tom Paige, Jr., but refuses to believe that he is related to the millionaire. Tom, however, trails Eadie and Kitty and, after overhearing her gold-digging plans, arranges for her to board the family yacht. To Eadie's humiliation, Tom then proves his identity when he introduces her to his father. The embarrassed Eadie jumps overboard and is followed by Tom, who begins a frustrating two-week courtship of her. In spite of her feelings for Tom, Eadie refuses to give in to his sexual demands, insisting that he marry her or lose her. When she then turns down a diamond bracelet in favor of a proposal, career bachelor Tom confides in his father that he is genuinely confused about the gold digger. Paige tells his son to invite Eadie to their mansion, confident that she will reveal her "true colors" in that setting. After Paige leaves the mansion to attend a banquet, Tom tries to seduce Eadie and is startled when she tearfully begs for mercy. Moved by her conviction, Tom allows Eadie to leave, then tells his father that he wants to marry the gold digger. After Tom refuses to heed his advice to drop Eadie, Paige asks the district attorney to assist him in a frame-up. In her apartment, the unsuspecting Eadie is photographed in a compromising situation with a strange man and is arrested on suspicion of stealing Cousins' cufflinks. Eadie then is rejected by a doubting Tom, who is to accompany his father on a European diplomatic mission, but is bailed out of jail by Charlie Turner, a married admirer. Embittered and angry, a drunken Eadie plants herself in Paige's ocean liner stateroom and shows up in her underwear just as the reporters' cameras start to pop. Just before Eadie gives herself to Charlie, however, a repentant Tom rushes in and tries to convince her of his love. At the same time, Paige shows Eadie a newspaper report in which he claimed that her frame-up was a plot by his detractors and that she and Tom already were married when her picture was snapped on the boat. To keep his reputation intact, Paige insists that Eadie and Tom be married immediately by a judge, and Eadie finally is made a lady.

Film Details

Also Known As
100% Pure, Born to Be Kissed, Eadie Was a Lady
Genre
Romance
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Aug 3, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Miami, Florida, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

The Girl From Missouri


The newly enforced regulations of the Production Code put forth in 1934 brought Hollywood movies under scrutiny like never before. Created by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (M.P.P.D.A.) under Will H. Hays, the self-regulated Code sought to maintain a standard of ethics and decency in American movies. Citing a long list of specific do's and don'ts, the Code's rigidity posed trouble for Hollywood's leading platinum blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow. Columnist Paul Harrison assessed at the time that Harlow's films were "more closely checked by censors than those of any other actress." She, along with contemporary sexpot Mae West, came under frequent criticism for her unique ability to combine sex with humor. This, according to the Code, was a no-no. "Seduction," it stated clearly, "is never the proper subject for comedy."

The first of her films to bear the Production Code seal of approval, The Girl From Missouri (1934), highlights Harlow's vibrant beauty and blossoming natural talent as an actress. Falling somewhere between comedy and light drama, it tells the story of Eadie (Harlow), a young girl who runs away from home in hopes of landing a millionaire husband. Though her "hotsy-totsy" looks and lack of breeding continually get her labeled as a floozy, Eadie remains determined to marry well without compromising her virtue. The Production Code's influence is noticeable in the film's handling of the potentially touchy subject matter. Originally called Eadie Was a Lady, the title was then changed to Born to Be Kissed, which the Code Administration deemed too suggestive. While the American title became simply The Girl From Missouri, the movie was released in the UK under the decidedly un-ambiguous title 100% Pure. Brassy sidekick Patsy Kelly as Harlow's man-hungry best friend is a treat to watch, and real-life Missouri native Harlow brings humanity and compassion to an otherwise unremarkable role.

The Girl From Missouri marked the second time Harlow worked with director Jack Conway, who also called the shots on 1932's Red-Headed Woman. He would go on to direct Harlow again in the 1936 romantic comedy Libeled Lady and her final film Saratoga(1937). Accomplished writer and Harlow friend Anita Loos penned the sharp screenplay, sharing credit (as she often did) with husband John Emerson. Known also for writing the novel and screenplay for the similarly themed Marilyn Monroe vehicle Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953), Loos also wrote two other Harlow flicks, Red-Headed Woman and Saratoga. Harlow's biggest connection to the crew of this picture was undoubtedly with cinematographer Harold (Hal) Rosson, to whom she was married at the time. Unfortunately for the couple, their brief marriage broke up before The Girl From Missouri was completed. Rosson, who had already shot most of the picture, was replaced by Ray June and went uncredited in the final print. Rosson was her third and last husband, though she did go on to a famous love affair with actor William Powell before her death in 1937.

Producer: Jack Conway, Bernard H. Hyman
Director: Jack Conway, Sam Wood (uncredited)
Screenplay: Anita Loos, John Emerson
Cinematography: Ray June, Harold Rosson (uncredited)
Costume Design: Adrian
Film Editing: Tom Held
Original Music: Dr. William Axt
Principal Cast: Jean Harlow (Edith 'Eadie' Chapman), Lionel Barrymore (Thomas Randall 'T.R.' Paige), Franchot Tone (T.R. 'Tom' Paige Jr.), Lewis Stone (Frank Cousins), Patsy Kelly (Kitty Lennihan).
BW-72m. Closed captioning.

by Andrea Foshee

The Girl From Missouri

The Girl From Missouri

The newly enforced regulations of the Production Code put forth in 1934 brought Hollywood movies under scrutiny like never before. Created by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (M.P.P.D.A.) under Will H. Hays, the self-regulated Code sought to maintain a standard of ethics and decency in American movies. Citing a long list of specific do's and don'ts, the Code's rigidity posed trouble for Hollywood's leading platinum blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow. Columnist Paul Harrison assessed at the time that Harlow's films were "more closely checked by censors than those of any other actress." She, along with contemporary sexpot Mae West, came under frequent criticism for her unique ability to combine sex with humor. This, according to the Code, was a no-no. "Seduction," it stated clearly, "is never the proper subject for comedy." The first of her films to bear the Production Code seal of approval, The Girl From Missouri (1934), highlights Harlow's vibrant beauty and blossoming natural talent as an actress. Falling somewhere between comedy and light drama, it tells the story of Eadie (Harlow), a young girl who runs away from home in hopes of landing a millionaire husband. Though her "hotsy-totsy" looks and lack of breeding continually get her labeled as a floozy, Eadie remains determined to marry well without compromising her virtue. The Production Code's influence is noticeable in the film's handling of the potentially touchy subject matter. Originally called Eadie Was a Lady, the title was then changed to Born to Be Kissed, which the Code Administration deemed too suggestive. While the American title became simply The Girl From Missouri, the movie was released in the UK under the decidedly un-ambiguous title 100% Pure. Brassy sidekick Patsy Kelly as Harlow's man-hungry best friend is a treat to watch, and real-life Missouri native Harlow brings humanity and compassion to an otherwise unremarkable role. The Girl From Missouri marked the second time Harlow worked with director Jack Conway, who also called the shots on 1932's Red-Headed Woman. He would go on to direct Harlow again in the 1936 romantic comedy Libeled Lady and her final film Saratoga(1937). Accomplished writer and Harlow friend Anita Loos penned the sharp screenplay, sharing credit (as she often did) with husband John Emerson. Known also for writing the novel and screenplay for the similarly themed Marilyn Monroe vehicle Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953), Loos also wrote two other Harlow flicks, Red-Headed Woman and Saratoga. Harlow's biggest connection to the crew of this picture was undoubtedly with cinematographer Harold (Hal) Rosson, to whom she was married at the time. Unfortunately for the couple, their brief marriage broke up before The Girl From Missouri was completed. Rosson, who had already shot most of the picture, was replaced by Ray June and went uncredited in the final print. Rosson was her third and last husband, though she did go on to a famous love affair with actor William Powell before her death in 1937. Producer: Jack Conway, Bernard H. Hyman Director: Jack Conway, Sam Wood (uncredited) Screenplay: Anita Loos, John Emerson Cinematography: Ray June, Harold Rosson (uncredited) Costume Design: Adrian Film Editing: Tom Held Original Music: Dr. William Axt Principal Cast: Jean Harlow (Edith 'Eadie' Chapman), Lionel Barrymore (Thomas Randall 'T.R.' Paige), Franchot Tone (T.R. 'Tom' Paige Jr.), Lewis Stone (Frank Cousins), Patsy Kelly (Kitty Lennihan). BW-72m. Closed captioning. by Andrea Foshee

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were 100% Pure, Eadie Was a Lady and Born to Be Kissed. Hollywood Reporter, Motion Picture Daily and Daily Variety reviewed the picture as Born to Be Kissed. "Eadie Was a Lady" was a popular 1932 ballad composed by B. G. DeSylva, Richard Whiting and Nacio Herb Brown. Although the ballad's story and the film's story bear some resemblance to each other, the film is not actually based on the song. According to a July 1934 New York Times article, the picture, which was described as "one of the most torrid efforts to emanate from any studio in some time," was "unofficially rejected" by the Hays Office. M-G-M contract director Sam Wood was the original director on the production. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Wood "asked to be relieved" from the film in late April 1934, "because he did not agree with changes in the story as ordered by the Hays Office." Although the same news item stated that M-G-M was shelving the project indefinitely, production charts indicate that director Jack Conway was working on the film by April 30, 1934. It is not known how much of Wood's footage remains in the final film. In mid-March 1934, Robert Montgomery was announced as the film's lead. Hal Rosson is listed in early Hollywood Reporter production charts as the film's photographer. By mid-May 1934, however, Ray June's name appears in the production charts. It is most likely that June replaced Rosson after Wood left the production. Some exteriors for the picture were shot in Miami, FL, according to a Hollywood Reporter news item. Hollywood Reporter production charts also add Shirley Ross, John David Horsley and Russell Hopton to the cast list, but these actors are not included in Call Bureau Cast Service records. Hopton was not seen in the viewed print. Ross's and Horsley's participation in the final film has not been confirmed.