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Lucretia Lombard 1923
Description: Lucretia Morgan has been married to an old boy for the past seven years. The marriage is loveless but the entire time Lucretia has been a devoted wife. Her husband Allen has been sick for some time. Lucretia thinks Allen is upset with her because she is going out to a charity ball and he has to stay. Allen understands she is young and she needs to socialize he is not upset with her for wanting to go out.
Released: 08 Dec 1923 Director: Jack Conway Writers: Sada Cowan, Bertram Millhauser, Kathleen Norris (novel) Actors: Irene Rich, Monte Blue, Marc McDermott, Norma Shearer Genres: Drama
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Lucretia Lombard Reviews:

Irene Rich is married to Marc McDermott. He's old, he's irascible, he's dying, and he's mad that Irene is being escorted to the charity ball by John Roche from across the street. So he switches his sleeping pills for the aspirin and insists she gives him too many so when he dies, she'll be in trouble. What a joke! Fortunately, John's brother, Monte Blue, has just been made a judge, so he gets the investigation quashed.Monte gets engaged to Norma Shearer (credited as "Norma Sherer"); Monte and Irene fall in love thanks, we are said by vast swaths of titles, to the irresistible force of fate; Monte and Miss Sherer are married an everyone goes off to escort Monte's father to the hospital, leaving the two competitors for Blue alone in the same house because.... well, that seems like a nice idea, doesn't it?It's the sort of storyline I am not overly fond of, but director Jack Conway does his usual stalwart greatest with it, with a melodramatic ending involving a fire, wolves and a flood. Unfortunately, while Miss Rich seems well cast, Norma Shearer is still learning her craft, and exhibits her "Ain't I cute?" tricks at full blast, causing me to wish to shoot her. Mr. Blue is stuck in the middle with many a reaction shot, in which, I believe, he is supposed to look pensive. Instead, he looks like a rather doughy elder brother of Harry Langdon, thinking about the case and not coming to any conclusion.Fortunately, this film did not seem to harm anyone's career. Mr. Blue went on to work with Lubitsch in some sparkling comedies at Warners, while Conway, Shearer, and producer Harry Rapf fled to the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where they all did very well by themselves and the studio.


It had other game and Robert E. Sherwood of "Life" magazine explained ""Lucretia Lombard" has an alternative game "Flaming Passion" and is used in those districts were passion is popular"!!. Passion was very famous with Kathleen Norris who was the most widely read and the highest paid American girl writer from 1911 to 1959 and specialized in novels with plenty of romantic complications. Lucretia Lombard (Irene Rich) pays the price for marrying for wealth and a game - she has been shackled for years to a tyrannical husband (Marc McDermott) whose dissipated younger life has left him a drug addicted wreck. Everytime the excellent wife, "Remember" she remarks to a disgruntled butler "we can receive away from him but he can't receive away from himself"!!Across the street are the Winships and when Lombard dies of a drug overdose, D.A. Stephen Winship is named in when suspicion is thrown on Lucretia. Lombard is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, not only does he switch pill box lids so the poisonous painkillers can be mistaken for the mild aspirins, he sets the stage when young Fred Winship comes to take Lucretia to a charity ball by indicating that she would be only too satisfied to receive rid of him. Norma Shearer has the part of Mimi, Judge Winship's (Alec B. Francis) petted ward. She wasn't the star, in fact her name was down the bottom of the cast but she had charisma and star quality that made you remember her - in fact Tons named her "the search of the cast"!!Somehow Lucretia's issues are ironed out cute quickly but Stephen has his own issues - he has somehow become engaged to Mimi and has no concept how it happened!! The judge and his wife are over the moon about it as it has everytime been Mimi's dream and Stephen finds himself swept along with the enthusiasm. Fred can't be left out of this turgid tale - he has gambling debts and confesses all to Lucretia who in her effort to shield Stephen consents to go with Fred into city to raise the money!! But wait!! - Stephen has seen them together, thinks there is no hope for him as far as Lucretia goes and when she returns to say him of the true reason of her flight with Fred, Stephen has news of his own - he is actually married to Mimi!! Yes, that's right - there had been a hunting accident and thinking the judge may not live long, consents to marry Mimi so the old fellow can die happy!!Of course all this can't be allowed to continue and it paves the method for a spectacular climax, combining an immense forest fire and the bursting of a dam!! Norma pulls all this emoting off with aplomb and in the most natural acting style. She even convinces that she is in love with the stodgy Monte Blue who gotta be at least 20 years older than she, but it seems to come off as character worship!!


This film is an early outing by Jack Conway, before he directed such films as "Brown of Harvard", "The Smart Set", or "Our Modern Maidens". The film starts with an illustration of Lucretia Lombard's life--a girl (Irene Rich) married to a cockeyed, disabled old boy (Marc McDermott). Her only satisfaction is to be seen in public with the foolhardy young son of Reverend Winship (Alec B. Francis), Fred (John Roche). Next we are introduced to the glamorous, elfin ward of the reverend, Mimi, played by a hypnotic, young Norma Shearer. The elder son Steve (Monte Blue), is the apple of Norma Shearer's eye. After a night of partying with Fred, Mrs. Lombard returns home too worn-out to notice her husband has switched the cover of his sleeping pills with that of some aspirin. As a consequence, Mrs. Lombard gives her husband a lethal dose of opiates, so out of despair she calls Fred. Fred asks Steve, in the midst of being wooed by Mimi, for help. Fortunately Steve is the district attorney and arrives in time to prevent Lucretia from incriminating herself to the authorities. However, this possibility encounter sparks an undying flame of love in Steve for Mrs. Lombard, that only grows stronger as time goes by. Through some implausible plot twists it becomes clear to Mimi that her boy is a louse. I can't say you what happens next, as that is the slam-bang end of the movie. What I can say you is that if I were in Monte Blue's shoes I would have not picked Irene Rich over Norma Shearer (who made the film a watchable 6.0 for me)!



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