Monday, February 26, 2007

Mr. Smith

I asked before if Charles Lane ever played a nice guy. Here's one film where he does: Primrose Path a 1940 RKO production directed, produced and co-written by the great Gregory La Cava.

The film -- loosely based on an old stage play, and a strange hybrid of comedy and melodrama like La Cava's Stage Door -- stars Ginger Rogers as a young woman from the Wrong Side of the Tracks whose father is a drunk and whose mother is a prostitute. Rogers marries a character played by Joel McCrea, but they have a falling-out when he discovers her family background. Rogers goes back to live with her family, and after her mother's accidental death, Rogers has to support the family by going into her mother's old business of prostitution.

But Rogers' virtue, and her marriage, are saved by an unexpected source: her first client, played by Charles Lane. Yes, Charles Lane saves the day and brings the leading players together. Good for him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Charles Lane also played a good guy in "Here Comes the Groom." You think he's a bad guy, but he's actually Bing Crosby's old buddy doing Bing a favor.