Watch Ladies of Leisure
- 1 hr 39 min
Ladies of Leisure is a 1930 romantic drama film directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, and Lowell Sherman. The film follows the story of a cynical and jaded artist, Jerry Strong (Sherman), who hires a beautiful and ambitious model-turned-call-girl, Kay Arnold (Stanwyck), to pose for his latest painting. Despite their initial animosity towards each other, Jerry and Kay soon find themselves falling in love.
The film begins with Kay, a struggling model, living in a shabby apartment with her alcoholic father. She is approached by Bill Standish (Graves), the wealthy son of a millionaire who is looking for a mistress. Kay initially resists his advances, but ultimately gives in for financial reasons. Meanwhile, Jerry is a successful artist who is disillusioned with the art world and has lost faith in humanity. He hires Kay as his model, but is initially dismissive and condescending towards her. As they spend more time together, however, they begin to develop mutual respect and understanding.
As Jerry and Kay's relationship deepens, they face opposition from both Bill and Jerry's art patron, Mr. Blake (Monroe Owsley), who disapproves of Jerry's involvement with a "loose woman". Kay's father also disapproves of her relationship with Jerry, worrying that she will end up hurt and alone. Despite these obstacles, Jerry and Kay decide to get married.
The film ends on a bittersweet note, with Jerry and Kay enjoying a brief moment of happiness before they are forced to confront the harsh realities of their situation. Jerry's art career has suffered as a result of his relationship with Kay, and they are forced to live in poverty. Kay tries to find work as a performer, but is rejected because of her reputation as a former call-girl. As they struggle to make ends meet, Jerry grows increasingly bitter and resentful towards Kay. The film ends with Kay leaving Jerry, after he accuses her of being a gold-digger and tells her that he never truly loved her.
Ladies of Leisure is a fascinating and complex film, with deep insights into human nature and relationships. The film's portrayal of Kay as a strong, independent woman who refuses to be defined by her past is particularly noteworthy. Barbara Stanwyck delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Kay, infusing the role with both vulnerability and strength. Lowell Sherman is also excellent as Jerry, bringing depth and complexity to a character that could have easily been one-dimensional.
Director Frank Capra's vivid and detailed portrayal of Depression-era New York is another highlight of the film. The film's gritty and realistic depiction of poverty and hardship provides an interesting contrast to the glamorous and superficial world of high society that Bill and his family inhabit. Capra's use of light and shadow is also noteworthy, creating a mood of ambiguity and uncertainty throughout the film.
Overall, Ladies of Leisure is a must-see for fans of classic Hollywood cinema. The film's honest and frank portrayal of love, relationships, and human nature continues to resonate with audiences today.
Ladies of Leisure is a 1930 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.