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Letty Lynton

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Director  Clarence Brown
Cinematography  Oliver T. Marsh
Country  United States
5.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Language  English
Letty Lynton movie poster
Release date  May 14, 1932 (1932-05-14) (United States)
Based on  Letty Lynton  by Marie Belloc Lowndes
Writer  Marie Belloc Lowndes (novel), John Meehan, Wanda Tuchock (adaptation)
Producers  Irving Thalberg, Hunt Stromberg
Cast  Joan Crawford (Letty Lynton), Robert Montgomery (Hale Darrow), Nils Asther (Emile Renaul), Lewis Stone (District Attorney Haney), May Robson (Mrs. Lynton, Letty's Mothers), Louise Closser Hale (Miranda, Letty's Maid)
Similar movies  Joan Crawford and Nils Asther appear in Letty Lynton and Our Dancing Daughters

Letty lynton 1932 joan crawford excerpt 1

Letty Lynton is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film starring Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery and Nils Asther. The film was directed by Clarence Brown and based on the 1931 novel of the same name by Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes (this novel itself based on a historical alleged murder committed by Madeleine Smith). Crawford plays the title character, who gets away with murder in a tale of love and blackmail.


Letty Lynton movie scenes

The film has since become famous due to its unavailability. It is also remembered for the "Letty Lynton dress", designed by Adrian - a white cotton organdy gown with large ruffled sleeves, puffed at the shoulder. Macy's department store copied the dress in 1932, and it sold over 50,000 replicas nationwide.

Letty Lynton httpshavingwonderfultimefileswordpresscom20

Letty lynton clip1


Letty Lynton The Letty Lynton Dress Adrian and Joan Crawfords Shoulders Part

New York City socialite Letty Lynton has been living in Montevideo, Uruguay and wants to end her affair with Emile Renaul. On a steamship to the United States, Letty sees wealthy American Jerry Darrow and is immediately attracted to him. At dinner, their attraction increases, and after two weeks at sea, they have fallen in love.

Letty Lynton 1932 Letty Lynton Film 1930s The Red List

On Christmas Eve, a worried Letty tells her maid that they must leave the boat in Havana because she doesn't want Jerry to know about her wild past, but when Jerry comes to her room to propose, she accepts. In New York, Letty is shocked to see Emile waiting for her on the dock. Making an excuse to Jerry, she leaves the boat before him and learns from Emile that he flew from South America to see her and plans to take her back with him. After she leaves Emile in the customs office, Letty goes home, accompanied by Jerry, who tells her that they have been invited to the home of his parents in Upstate New York and will leave that night, after Letty tells her mother about the engagement. Letty's mother, Mrs. Lynton, is an embittered woman who shows no affection for Letty, whom she regards as irresponsible. Soon Emile arrives, having read about the engagement in the newspapers, and warns her to meet him in his hotel room that night or he will show Jerry her explicit love letters. Letty is revolted and resolves to commit suicide rather than spend her life with Emile. She calls Jerry to change their departure to the next day, then goes to Emile's hotel, taking a bottle of poison with her. Letty begs for her letters, but he refuses and tells her that their affair will only be over when he says so. While Emile goes to the door to talk to a waiter, Letty puts the poison in her champagne glass, planning to drink it herself.

Letty Lynton The Letty Lynton Dress Adrian and Joan Crawfords Shoulders Part

When Emile returns, however, he strikes her, then picks up her glass by mistake and drinks the poison, as Letty mutely watches. Letty then lets him carry her to the bedroom, and waits until he starts to feel the poison's effects. As he dies, she screams that she's glad she did it, even if she hangs. She then cleans up the room and leaves.

Letty Lynton Adelines Attic Vintage Letty Lynton Gown Love it or Loathe it

The next day, soon after Letty and Jerry have arrived at the home of his parents, a detective from New York arrives looking for Letty and demanding that she come with him. Jerry, Mrs. Lynton and Letty's maid accompany her to see District Attorney John J. Haney, who produces the letters and accuses Letty of murder. After she admits that she went to see Emile, Jerry lies by saying that he and Letty spent the night together at his apartment after she left Emile's, and that he knew all about the letters. Mrs. Lynton corroborates Jerry's story by saying that she followed Letty to Jerry's apartment. She also says that she overheard Emile say he would kill himself if Letty did not return to him. Letty's maid, Miranda, also corroborates the story, after which Haney says that the case is closed and Letty is free to go.


Letty Lynton Letty Lynton
  • Joan Crawford as Letty Lynton
  • Robert Montgomery as Jerry Darrow
  • Nils Asther as Emile Renaul
  • Lewis Stone as District Attorney Haney
  • May Robson as Mrs. Lynton, Letty's Mother
  • Louise Closser Hale as Miranda, Letty's Maid
  • Emma Dunn as Mrs. Darrow, Jerry's Mother
  • Walter Walker as Mr. Darrow, Jerry's Father
  • William Pawley as Hennessey
  • Reception

    Letty Lynton The Letty Lynton Dress Adrian and Joan Crawfords Shoulders Part

    Photoplay magazine commented, "The gripping, simple manner in which this picture unfolds stands it squarely among the best of the month....Joan Crawford as Letty is at her best. Nils Asther is a fascinating villain. Robert Montgomery gives a skillful performance....The direction, plus a strong cast, make Letty Lynton well worth seeing."

    Letty Lynton Adelines Attic Vintage Letty Lynton Gown Love it or Loathe it

    Motion Picture Herald noted, "Almost everything one can wish for in entertainment has been injected into this superbly acted and directed production. The gowns which Miss Crawford wears will be the talk of your town for weeks after...and how she wears them!"

    Box Office

    Letty Lynton Joan in Adrians legendary Letty Lynton gown 1932 Photo

    According to MGM records the film earned $754,000 in the US and Canada and $418,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $390,000.

    Legal status

    Letty Lynton has been unavailable since a federal District Court ruled on January 17, 1936 that the script used by MGM followed too closely the play Dishonored Lady (1930) by Edward Sheldon and Margaret Ayer Barnes without acquiring the rights to the play or giving credit. On July 28, 1939, the Second Circuit awarded one-fifth of the net of Letty Lynton to plaintiffs Sheldon and Ayer Barnes in their plagiarism action against MGM. This case was said to be the first copyright decision ever to direct the apportionment of profits on the relative basis as in patent suits where a patent has been appropriated.

    On November 7, 1939, MGM petitioned the United States Supreme Court to overturn the Court of Appeals ruling, stating that the questions arising in the suit were predicated solely upon the copyright laws of the U.S., and not the patent laws. However, MGM did not prevail in this latter action, and the film is unavailable even to this day save for some bootlegged copies.

    In 1947, United Artists released the film Dishonored Lady, starring Hedy Lamarr and directed by Robert Stevenson, based on the play by Sheldon and Ayer Barnes.


    Letty Lynton Wikipedia
    Letty Lynton IMDb Letty Lynton

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