Primrose Path


Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Charles Lane Photo
Charles Lane as Mr. 'Smitty' Smith / Hawkins
Ginger Rogers Photo
Ginger Rogers as Ellie May Adams
Joel McCrea Photo
Joel McCrea as Ed Wallace
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
821.95 MB
English 2.0
50 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...
1.49 GB
English 2.0
50 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Art-227 / 10

A good melodrama about a marriage created by lies and soured when the truth emerges, all with top-notch acting.

I thoroughly enjoyed the acting in this film: Ginger Rogers as the daughter of prostitute Marjorie Rambeau (an Oscar nomination),who supports the family; Joel McCrea as the man Rogers sort of ropes into marrying; Miles Mander as her educated alcoholic father, who can translate Greek but is otherwise useless and knows it; Queenie Vassar as her grandmother, an ex-prostitute who would rather see Rogers become a prostitute than settle down with McCrea; and the remarkable young child actress, Joan Carroll as Rogers' young sassy kid sister. Her rendition of the poem "Don't Swat Your Mother, Boys" was a hoot. When McCrea meets Rogers as she digs for clams, and steals a kiss (her first one) as he starts to gives her a lift home, she falls in love. That night she goes to see McCrea at the Bluebell Club and lies when she says she's run away and can't return, never mentioning her family for fear of alienating him. They marry, but of course the truth comes out eventually, creating a rift. The acting is so natural I felt as though I was looking into a window observing the lives of these people.

The word "prostitute" is never mentioned (it would have given the 1940 censors apoplexy),but it was obvious anyway. Still, the film was banned in Detroit, and the play was modified to placate those censors. Queenie Vassar was primarily a stage actress; this was her first film.

Reviewed by AlsExGal8 / 10

How did this one get past the production code?

This is such an unusual film. You've got a girl of unnameable age (Ginger Rogers as Ellie) who is apparently old enough to get married but young enough to pull off looking twelve or thirteen merely by dressing the part and putting her hair in pigtails. Why would she put on this ruse? She gives several excuses but it's probably seeing the effect of men on the lives and characters of her mother and grandmother. Mom is currently a prostitute supporting a husband for which she feels obligation but no longer love. Ellie has an alcoholic father who apparently is long on education but short on the stuff that enables people to face up to life, and knowing how and why his wife makes a living as she does just deepens his cycle of alcoholism. Then there is grandma that takes the cake but would never be caught baking one. She's a retired prostitute and loves talking "shop" with her daughter, Ellie's mom.

So of course Ellie would never want to cross the threshold to adolescence. And then one day she meets diner worker Ed Wallace (Joel McCrea). Unable to tell her true age, Ed partly kids with her and partly flirts. In Ed Ellie sees what she has never found at home - someone with humor, who makes her laugh, who - not knowing her family - accepts her. In Ellie, Ed sees a freshness and sense of naiveté he can't find in his cannery row dates at the café, even though he seems to enjoy their bawdiness.

So here we have a couple in which both parties are of equivalent classes as far as income, but worlds apart in where that income originates. Romances are common from this era in which one party is hiding a past that they think will disrupt the relationship if it is discovered. This one is different because it is the girl's family that is of ill repute - the girl herself has done nothing wrong with one exception - she basically tricks Ed into marrying her by telling him a pack of lies about her fictitious strict family.

It's a very heart-warming film, not overly melodramatic, and has fine performances from all the supporting cast as well as Rogers and McCrea who display great chemistry despite the fact that their characters' romance appears to come out of nowhere. Plus it has a quite unlikely hero in the matchmaker who reconciles the young couple - one highly insightful "John" who maybe really did love Ellie's mom after all, knew what she was up against, and didn't want to see history repeat itself in her daughter. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by vincentlynch-moonoi7 / 10

Surprisingly strong film, but definitely not a comedy!

"Primrose Path" is actually a rather daring film for its day. Young Giner Rogers has grown up in a home with a rather disgusting grandmother, an alcoholic father, and a mother who seems a bit loose. In reality, although it's not too obvious, grandmother and mother were prostitutes. Quite by chance, Ginger Rogers meets Joel McCrae and they soon realize they are in love and they get married. But, Rogers hides her family from McCrea due to her embarrassment. But, sooner or later McCrea has to meet them, and when he does it's a disaster and he dumps his wife because of all the lies, despite the fact that they were happy together (along with McCrea's father, who lives with them...played by Henry Travers). Eventually they realize they still love each other, but only after tragedy hits the family and Rogers nearly becomes a prostitute herself.

Marjorie Rambeau, who played the mother, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for this film. Miles Mander, who plays the alcoholic father, is excellent. Queenie Vassar as the grandmother...well, I was not impressed, but perhaps it was her role that was so disgusting. Henry Travers...excellent and perfect, as always.

A small, but interesting role in the film is Charles Lane, who plays a likable "John Smith" who hires Rogers as his "date", but ends up getting the two lovers back together. Usually he plays a skinflint, but here he is rather likable in a very different role.

This is really a very good and under-appreciated film. The topics were racy at the time, but really come together well, and there is plenty of social commentary here, as well. Highly recommended.

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