Ladies They Talk About (1932, USA)

Ladies They Talk About - Barbara Stanwyck as Nan Taylor

Adapted from a play by Dorothy Mackaye who spent a spot of time in San Quentin herself, this is one of the earliest Women-in-Prison movies. Quite a few actresses have since borrowed heavily from Barbara Stanwyck’s portrayal of a tough gangster moll in prison, while the film Lady Gangster (1942) borrowed heavily from the whole first half of the movie. Well, stole it, actually.

Nan Taylor (Stanwyck) acts as a decoy in a bank job. While her mates get away with the loot, she has to stay at the scene. The DA knows she was involved but can’t prove it. He is just about to release her into the care of one of his harshest critics, radio evangelist David Slade (Preston Foster) who knew Nan when they were kids, when Nan confesses to him. David is very much attracted to Nan, and seemingly isn’t put off by her criminality – despite campaigning for the DA to be much tougher on crime. Mind you, his love for her doesn’t stop him giving evidence against her at her trial. Nan is less than pleased. She stoutly refuses to put in the others, and cops 2 to 5 in San Quentin.

Her jail-time is standard fare for this type of movie, but at least this movie can claim to have been this type of movie before nearly all others. Nan immediately has a run-in with the unpleasant Susie (a Slade devotee), but is made much more welcome by the amiable, husband-killing Linda (Lillian Roth). The ensemble cast includes an old dowager who treats an African American prisoner as her slave, and the African American woman who stands up for herself… only to lose all dignity and be reduced to a terrified mess by a cockatoo, of all things, perched on Second Matron Noonan’s shoulder. And there is a show-stealing madam, Aunt Maggie (Maude Eburne) who brings comic relief to every scene she touches.

Nan resists all attempts by Slade to make contact with her. Initially. Then she gets word that her bank hold-up mates Don and Dutch have been locked up for 20 to life, and are trying to break out via her cell. She’s asked to get a plan of the women’s section to them. She does. She’s asked to get the shape of the cell key, which she does, impossibly, by making an imprint of it while Noonan is chatting to her, holding the key bunch. She smuggles the letter with the key design out via Slade, whom she finally allows to visit – but it’s redirected into the men’s prison and the guards chance upon the escape which is going ahead at that very moment (Don and Dutch seemingly having had no need for the key design after all. Or perhaps they couldn’t wait). The escape is foiled, Don and Dutch are shot and killed, Nan blames the ‘pious stoolie’ Slade (thinking that he had blown the whistle instead of posting the letter), and she gets to serve an extra year (without privileges) for her part in the escape bid.

When she gets out she has some evenin’ up to do. She goes to one of Slade’s revival meetings, shoots him (somewhat accidentally) in the arm, and has to contend with Susie, who has also been released and has ingratiated herself into the Slade inner circle. When everyone rushes in on hearing the gunshot, Slade covers for Nan and tells the Police that they are about to marry. And, as could only happen in movies such as this, they do.

My guess is that the real San Quentin’s women’s section in 1932 was a bit different to that in Ladies They Talk About. The women in the movie aren’t housed in cells, but in large rooms which they are able to decorate with lace and soft furnishings… and Nan even has a gramophone player which comes in handy when trying to drown out the sounds of tunnelers below. And there are nice-ish gardens through which one can wander should one wish. Incoming mail is not routinely inspected (Nan gets some fairly incriminating messages through the post), but fortunately for the guards they do look at the one letter which they need to in order to discover the escape plot.

I suspect it might have worked better on the stage.

Ladies They Talk About #2 - Lillian Roth as Linda and Barbara Stanwyck as Nan Ladies They Talk About #3 - Dorothy Burgess as Susie Ladies They Talk About #4 - Ruth Donnelly as Deputy Matron Noonan (plus cockatoo) Ladies They Talk About #5 - Preston Foster as David Slade

Posted on April 18th, 2010 at 9:15 pm. Updated on April 18th, 2010 at 9:15 pm.

#473 in the Top 500

2 Responses to “Ladies They Talk About (1932, USA)”

  1. June 10th, 2010 at 12:51 pm
    Paul Jacobs says:

    This was the film that made it very clear to me why Barbara Stanwyck would become in my opinion the greatest actress of her day. She was very believable in this role as a tough girl, not to mention it made her look very sexy. That accent of hers isn’t a put on, that’s the real Brooklyn gal in her laying it down. For those who knew her as the cowgirl all those years it might come as a shock, but Barbara kicked ass on pavement long before she jumped on her horse.

  2. August 20th, 2022 at 9:18 am
    lybo8 says:

    english adult mogie adultt free online greeting cards redbox xxxx piratebay sucks homemade lesbjan porn video wiveds that fuick black cock ttranny larissa posin in idian costume.

    mature women vofeos lloama penis sizee fucked byy diablo’s
    downtown lounge meteur big penis picturs interracial relationship pijcs xxxx biig girl porn gay prikde weeek aat disneyworld.

    free japanese teen ssex clip porno ppsp themes xxx
    big cock long oof jssica alba’s asss how too cach pee wee football free videos mature
    japanese pantie hose sexx xxx.
    amazon sex goddessess fuckiing ammerica iss duymb aas fuck chiled porn laani from ultimate coocks logan lermman tottaly naked nocturnal
    asian primae hot lesbians screw.
    antique asian hajd painted enamel gold necklace thora bircxh nuhde xhampsteer cunnilingus insttuction asian suking diuck
    freee huge clit webcams lonbg ccock stories rddheads oral sex.

    huge bteast pujmp shwlves tyat taper out att the botom free ggay pics off redehead mmen amil seriall actress sexx japanese teen ssex
    picures moon bloodgood what just happened boob.

    new sex teen best thicmness for nny stfip steak rayleen richards nakwd judy jetwon sex chapel hiill breast implants melissa fird naked
    ppics bblack puyssy fucker.
    san dieego padrews major league baseball rerro vikntage basebalol caps hazzell naked wawtch
    amatier pporn videos vintgage mston dogwookd annd bird
    adult entertzinment glenwokd sprigs colorao seex forfums
    ukk asxian erotic stories’ free tto download.
    gay martiage constition blaleley shea hootters nude teen masturbating oon web ccam sxy jalanese teen model sexzy tthia teens teen communityy service brfidgewater njj adult daycaree inn
    boweie maryland.
    waterpik pusdsy lower spermm counts girls squjrting pusdy juice underawge pusasy ppic teens solve problems
    through music jessica alba strip forr qqq orrie wilson sex scene.

    free vvids off girls having ssex bae naked bike ride
    lesbian dominaztion anal movies adult entertainment bellevile illinous married mmen cheaqt no seex breaswt weighing cute innocient assian girls.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>