Lily Powers has to do more than serve drinks at her father's run-down speakeasy in a small industrial town. His death gives her the chance to get to New York. With her experience in using her looks to get her way she is soon on her way to the top, cynically stepping over her men as she no longer needs them.
An original uncensored print of this amazing film was discovered in 2004 in the Library of Congress, and has been shown in a few specialized theaters around the world in 2005. According to current reviews that I've found online, the original has all of the nastiest dialog and innuendos intact; they were later either removed or completely re-shot by the studio prior to initial release, in order to pass the New York state censors ...... this is it!
This is a very good movie. Unusual for its day, due to the overt sex and plot. It also has a black playing a major role that is not a typical maid or servant, but more of a wise cracking best friend. Barbara Stanwyck, who I never considered very attractive, is quite stunning in a trampish sort of way. You will recognize a very young John Wayne as one of her boy friends, as well as many other character actors and actresses of the day. The woman playing the black girl, is new to me, she has a nice voice, as she sings a few jazz tunes of the era, I wonder what happened to her. This movie was before the Hays Code of Decency and it shows. I highly recommended this movie.
* Originally banned across the US due to its sexual innuendo.
* In spring of 1933 this film was submitted to the New York State Board of Censors, who rejected it, demanding a number of cuts and changes. Warner Brothers made these changes prior to the film's release in July 1933. In 2004, a "dupe negative" copy of the film as it existed prior to being censored was located at the Library of Congress. This uncensored version received its public premiere at the London Film Festival in November 2004, more than 70 years after it was made.
* In the original 1933 sneak preview, Stanwyck's dialog in the opening sequence where she attacks her father for surrounding her with men since she was the age of 14 is intact, although it was actually cut from the release version.
* Ship scene features same set used in "Three on a Match" a year earlier.
Barbara Stanwyck ... Lily Powers
George Brent ... Courtland Trenholm
Donald Cook ... Ned Stevens
Alphonse Ethier ... Adolf Cragg
Henry Kolker ... J.P. Carter
Margaret Lindsay ... Ann Carter
Arthur Hohl ... Ed Sipple
John Wayne ... Jimmy McCoy Jr.
Robert Barrat ... Nick Powers
Douglass Dumbrille ... Brody (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Theresa Harris ... Chico