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Lady of the Night (1925)

TV-G | | Drama, Romance | 23 February 1925 (USA)
A world-weary prostitute yearns after respectability and the love of an inventor.


Monta Bell


Adela Rogers St. Johns (story), Alice D.G. Miller (scenario)

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Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Molly Helmer / Florence Banning
Malcolm McGregor ... David Page (as Malcolm Mac Gregor)
Dale Fuller ... Miss Carr - Florence's Aunt
George K. Arthur ... 'Chunky' Dunn
Fred Esmelton ... Judge Banning
Lew Harvey Lew Harvey ... Chris Helmer - Molly's Father
Gwen Lee ... Molly's Friend
Betty Morrissey Betty Morrissey ... Gertie - Molly's Other Friend (as Betty Morrisey)


Lady of the Night ~ the story of two baby girls, born near in proximity, but worlds apart in life, - Molly Helmer, the daughter of a thief, and Florence Banning the daughter of the judge who would send Molly's father to prison. The girls' lives come together as young women at eighteen as Florence leaves the security of the exclusive Girls Select School, and Molly, now orphaned, begins her life free from reform school. Norma Shearer plays both young women, but the apparent differences in their worldliness will also make them most unfamiliar in appearance. Molly's new world consists of nights at Kelly's Dance Hall and her ever-present worshiper, Chunky Dunn. On one of her nightly dance hall outing's Molly meets David Page, an up and coming inventor, whom she quickly falls in love with. Molly persuades David to seek an honest buyer for his new safe-cracking device; against the advice of Chunky whose shadier side see's this as an opportunity for himself, and to corrupt David in the ... Written by glenn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance








Release Date:

23 February 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ave Nocturna See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2006 alternate)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (tinted)| Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Joan Crawford is the uncredited body double for Norma Shearer. Norma plays two roles in the film. When ever both characters are in the same scene, Joan plays the role that has her backside to the camera. See more »


Near the end of the film, Molly is in her bedroom, sitting in front of her dressing table, imagining what it would be like to travel out west with Chunky. There are two close-ups where the elaborate feathers in her hat are on the left side of her head, while they are on the right side of her head in all other shots. See more »


Molly's Friend: Well, ta, ta, dearie - we're entertaining some shy sheiks from Cheyenne.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2006, Turner Entertainment Company copyrighted a 61-minute version with an original piano score composed by Jon Mirsalis. It was broadcast on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in 2006, and distributed by Warner Bros. Television. See more »


Referenced in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

One Of Those Herr Bell's Small Pictures, Brief But Intense
19 December 2008 | by FerdinandVonGalitzienSee all my reviews

During the silent film era there were many important and famous directors who contributed with their mastery to the greatness of s film art but there were also other remarkable but not well-known film directors who also made good films. These interesting oeuvres unfortunately made little impact and are often not remembered in spite of their artistic merits. The American film director Herr Monta Bell was responsible for a number of these good (though not great) movies.

This Herr Graf likes specially Herr Bell's films, little pieces of craftsmanship in the silent era, perfectly planned and never disappointing. Herr Bell was influenced in his directorial style by Herr Ernst Lubitsch ( beside working with Herr Charles Chaplin ) and it is possible to see this in many of his films; elegant comedies, sometimes as sophisticated as the Herr Lubitsch ones, not with the German director's touch, certainly, but elegant, stylish and displaying an ironic sense of humour, anyway.

"Lady Of The Night" is not one of those remarkable Herr Bell's stylish comedies but it is certainly a good film, one of those Herr Bell's small pictures, brief but intense and with excellent final artistic results. The film depicts the story of two women from very different backgrounds; Dame Molly Hellmer and Dame Florence Banning, both played by Dame Norma Shearer in a double role. They are in love with the same youngster, a successful inventor who has a complicated task on his hands; he must sell his invention and pick the girl he will spend the rest of his life with.

The parallel stories and the different backgrounds of the two women, are depicted in detail and there is an excellent performance by Dame Shearer who expertly captures the different gestures and habits in the way both women face life; it's a "tour de force" and even though it seems simple it is actually complex. The film is also perfectly balanced, with witty editing showing transitions from Dame Molly to Dame Florence, especially at the beginning of the film. With skill and craftsmanship the film narrative goes from to a barroom dance to a luxurious mansion very smoothly, reflecting different social realities that have only one thing in common: the sufferings of love.

Herr Bell knows (as does this German count) that different social classes cannot be mixed and that's what happens in "Lady Of The Night" but in order not to disillusion the audience and keep them dreaming those impossible dreams, Herr Bell includes some humour and also an ironic and cynical ending, as happens in many of Herr Bell's films. After all, those two different girls are realistic not foolish ones and know pretty well what the future has in store for them.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must drink a double cocktail.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/

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