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Film / When Ladies Meet

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When ladies meet, the Love Triangle is revealed.

When Ladies Meet (1933) is a pre-code drama starring Robert Montgomery, Ann Harding, and Myrna Loy.

Jimmie (Montogomery) is set on marrying his friend, and writer, Mary (Loy). But upon finding out that she’s having an affair with her publisher, Rogers (Frank Morgan), Jimmy concocts a plan to make Mary and Roger’s wife, Clare (Harding), meet.

The film was remade in 1941 with Robert Taylor, Joan Crawford, and Greer Garson; however, the frankness of the pre-code attitude is mostly gone.

When Ladies Meet follows these tropes:

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Jimmie and Mary.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Rogers seems like he sincerely wants to leave his wife and marry Mary, but it turns out that Mary is just one of many in his long list of dalliances.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Clare admits that she doesn’t want to be this type of woman, so she coolly lets Rogers have several affairs because she knows he’ll come back to her.
  • The Ditz: Bridget (played by Alice Brady), but she does give some sage advice sometimes, making her a Genius Ditz.
  • Extreme Doormat: Clare borders on this. She was angry at Rogers when he first cheated on her, but she decided to let it go because she wanted to keep the illusion of a happy marriage.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Discussed In-Universe when Clare and Mary talk about Mary’s book about infidelity.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Jimmie can’t catch a break with Mary since she’s in so deep with Rogers.
  • Let's Duet: Clare and Mary sing an old love song on the piano, showing how they're kindred spirits.
  • Love Triangle: Jimmie is in love with Mary but Mary loves Rogers.
  • The Mistress: Mary is one, but she wants to defy the conventions of the average mistress by being open and honest with the wife of her lover.
  • Plot Parallel: Mary’s new novel point for point reflects her affair with Rogers.
  • Operation: Jealousy: This is how Jimmie convinces Clare to come to Bridget’s home: he tells Clare that he wants to use her to make Mary jealous, hoping for a Green-Eyed Epiphany. It doesn’t really work since they both end up liking each other.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jimmie shows dashes of this like showing up at Mary’s house unexpectedly or asking her to marry him on several occasions.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Bridget, oh, Bridget.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Mary thinks that two women, one a mistress and the wife being cheated on, can calmly and reasonably discuss their situation, and the wife can easily concede her marriage to the mistress.