Sadie McKee, from 1934, is a romantic drama starring Joan Crawford, Gene Raymond, Franchot Tone, and Edward Arnold. The third of seven films pairing Crawford and Tone (who would marry in 1935), this sweet little pre-code story, which chronicles the loves of working class-girl, Sadie McKee, is one I enjoyed as part of my Joan Crawford birthday month celebration.
With her mother a cook at the home of the wealthy Aldersons, Sadie McKee (Joan Crawford) has long enjoyed a friendship with the family's son, Michael (Franchot Tone). Their relationship is strictly platonic, though, as Sadie has a boyfriend...Tommy Wallace (Gene Raymond), a man who has recently lost his job due to his crooked ways. Sadie, who trusts Tommy completely, doesn't believe he has done anything wrong and runs off to New York with him.
After making plans to meet Tommy at City Hall, where they will be married, Sadie hits the New York streets, leaving Tommy behind at a cheap boarding house. When another tenant in the house flirts with him, Tommy flirts right back and ends up not only standing Sadie up, but abandoning her as well. Brokenhearted, yet determined to succeed, Sadie takes a job as a dancer in a club, where she meets drunken millionaire Jack Brennan (Edward Arnold).
Completely smitten with Sadie, the wealthy Mr. Brennan asks her to marry him. However, his good friend and lawyer is none other than Michael Alderson---and he no longer trusts Sadie. Insisting that she's nothing more than a chiseler, who will take the kindhearted man for everything he's got, Michael warns Sadie to stay away.
Will Sadie take Brennan for everything? Does she care about him? And what happens when Tommy, for whom Sadie still carries a torch, comes back into her life? And what exactly are Michael's feelings toward his childhood friend? These are the questions which play out in this sweet little film.
Sadie McKee is an interesting, enjoyable film, and although Joan Crawford gets top billing and does a great job in her role, the absolute star of the show is Edward Arnold. He is beyond fabulous as the drunken millionaire. The way he played every scene was completely perfect!! Joan is quite lovely at this point in her career, and her portrayal of Sadie was extremely heartwarming. I really came to care about Sadie. Franchot Tone was solid...and dashing as always. Gene Raymond, whose character is hardly likeable, strums a ukulele and sings "All I Do Is Dream of You," a song written specifically for this film.
Initially, I was going to go with 4 stars on this; however, the ending was rather abrupt and didn't seem to flow right, so I went with 3. Even so, though, this is a good, solid film, which I recommend---especially to Joan Crawford fans.
The film is out on DVD so it ought to be fairly easy to track down. Happy viewing!!