Ladies in Love (1936) - Dramedy with Constance Bennett and Loretta Young

Three young ladies are practical about romance. They share an expensive apartment to improve their future. In Ladies in Love (1936), (based on a play by Ladislaus Bush-Fekete) not one female lead is interested in love... until they each discover someone special.

Yoli (Constance Bennett) wants the finer items in life and sets her cap for a rich guy.  She is torn between Ben (Wilfred Lawson) the generous wealthy guy and John (Paul Lukas) the kind poor guy.

Martha (Janet Gaynor) is tired of odd jobs and wants a home of her own; she'll take a guy if he goes with it. She is torn between Dr. Imre (Don Ameche) who keeps rabbits and The Great Sandor (Alan Mowbray) a magician who never pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

Susie (Loretta Young) claims she wants to be independent of men and run her own shop. She is torn between Count Karl Lanyi (Tyrone Power) and her idea of independence. Actually, she drops her business idea in a hot second for the promise of a serious relationship with a man who can take her out of the chorus.

All three women are selfish and shallow, which the movie addresses. There is the possibility throughout the story that they might feel the consequences of any mistakes, which is refreshing. Usually in stories like this, the lovers can be as silly as they please and everything works out fine.

Not in this movie. There is suffering.

Ladies in Love would be Tyrone Power's last film credited as Tyrone Power, Jr. It had been five years since his famous father, the Shakespearean actor Tyrone F. Power had died in his son's arms. Power loved his father dearly; it was likely a studio decision to drop the "junior" on his credit card. Still, it was a fitting adjustment as Tyrone the younger made his own mark in acting and would later become more famous than the man who taught him the essence of his craft.

Power isn't in this film much, but that's ok. This is only his sixth out of fifty-two films. The world would later see a lot more of him at Twentieth Century Fox Studios.


The world would also see Ladies in Love (or similar stories) recycled. Two years later, Loretta Young would play the Constance Bennett role - the leader of the operation- in a comedy about three sisters on the hunt for wealthy husbands at an expensive resort. That film would be based on a play by Zoe Akins and would be titled Three Blind Mice.  In a neat bit of unintentional foreshadowing, Young sings "Three Blind Mice" in Ladies in Love.

In 1953, Fox would make another film based on the same Zoe Akins play about three women looking for husbands, this time with Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire.

Though Ladies in Love has a familiar theme, and the three leads can be silly, their immaturity is not always rewarded. There is a remarkable self-aware quality to the writing that you won't find in the remakes. As the story twists and turns, you think you know how it will end, but you might be wrong. 



  1. When I first started reading your post, I thought: "This sounds like How to Marry a Millionaire", and so it is. I love Marry/Millionaire but this one sounds like a more introspective film. I've never heard of it, so thanks for reviewing!

  2. Apparently there are other gold digger movies, including MOON OVER MIAMI (1941) and THREE LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE (1946).


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