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Millie

1931

Drama


Millie (1931 in film) is a Pre-Code drama film directed by John Francis Dillon (director) from a screenplay by Charles Kenyon and Ralph Morgan, based on a novel of the same name by Donald Henderson Clarke. The film was an independent production by Charles R. Rogers, distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, after their acquisition of Pathé Exchange. It starred Helen Twelvetrees in one of her best roles, with a supporting cast which included Lilyan Tashman, James Hall (actor), Joan Blondell, John Halliday (actor) and Anita Louise.

Plot

Millie (Helen Twelvetrees) is a naive young woman who marries a wealthy man from New York, Jack Maitland (James Hall). Three years later, unhappy in her marriage due to her husband's continued infidelity, she asks for and receives a divorce. Because of her pride, she does not want his money, however, she also does not want to remove her daughter from a comfortable lifestyle. She allows Jack and his mother (Charlotte Walker), to retain custody of Millie's daughter, Connie (Anita Louise). Focusing on her career, she rises through the hierarchy of the hotel where she is employed, shunning the attention of the rich banker, Jimmy Damier (John Halliday), perring the attentions of the reporter, Tommy Rock (Robert Ames), although, due to her prior sour relationship, uses to marry. Eventually, Millie is promoted to the head of operations for the hotel. At the same time, Tommy is offered a lucrative position at the bank by Damier, as a favor to Millie. However, at the celebration party, Millie discovers that Tommy, just like Maitland, is cheating on her.
Betrayed a second time, Millie becomes very bitter. With her female cohorts, Helen and Angie (Lilyan Tashman and Joan Blondell, respectively), she becomes a woman who loves a good time, floating from man to man. This goes on for several years, until she hears that Damier has taken an interest in her teen-age daughter, Connie, who bears a striking resemblance to Millie. Millie warns Damier to leave her daughter alone, but, although he promises to stay away from Connie, he ignores Millie's warning, and takes Connie to a remote lodge to seduce her. Millie is tipped off, goes to the lodge with a gun, confronts Jimmy and kills him.
In the following murder trial, Millie tries to keep her daughter's name out of the press and claims not to remember why she shot Jimmy. She says that another woman ran out of the lodge after the shot but claims that she didn't see who the woman was and has no idea as to the other woman's identity. The prosecution thus claims that Millie's motive was jealousy of Jimmy's romantic relationship with this unknown other woman. Millie's friends, however, help to bring out the truth, and when the jury finds out that Millie's true motive was to protect her daughter from Jimmy's lascivious intentions, they acquit her. In the end, Millie is reunited with her daughter and her estranged husband's family.

Cast

  • Helen Twelvetrees as Millie Blake Maitland
  • Lilyan Tashman as Helen Riley
  • Robert Ames as Tommy Rock
  • James Hall (actor) as Jack Maitland
  • John Halliday (actor) as Jimmy Damier
  • Joan Blondell as Angie Wickerstaff
  • Anita Louise as Connie Maitland
  • Edmund Breese as Bob O'Fallon
  • Frank McHugh as Johnny Holmes
  • Charlotte Walker (actress) as Mrs Maitland
  • Franklin Parker as Spring
  • Charles Delaney as Mike
  • Harry Stubbs (actor) as Mark Marks
(Cast as per American Film Institute's database)< name=AFI />

Notes

The film was an independent production by Charles Rogers, as indicated by the title screen of the film, which states it is a "Chas. R. Rogers Production", but became the property of RKO when he agreed to become their production chief.< name=RKO></>
The theme song, "Millie", had words and music by Nacio Herb Brown. See Note #60, pg. 143.</>
The film's tagline was "Torn From Her Arms ... Child Of Love A Woman Can Give But Once."< name=Theiapolis />

Category:1931 films
Category:American films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:English-language films
Category:RKO Pictures films
Category:Films directed by John Francis Dillon

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