After Midnight (1927)
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Film star Norma Shearer and director Monta Bell made a half-dozen films together. Bell gave Shearer some of her best acting opportunities during the silent era, even when he cast her in lightweight material such as this romance. Mary, a cigarette girl (Shearer), meets Joe Miller (Lawrence Gray) during a holdup. She takes a lead pipe from him, knocks him on the head, and then proceeds to reform him. The two of them plan to get married until one day she mistakenly believes he has failed her. They have an argument and split up, even though she has managed to scrape up enough money to buy a thousand-dollar bond for their new life together. That night, her gold-digging sister, Maizie (Gwen Lee), comes home from a party with a bond just like hers, given as a party favor. Mary begins to feel that it's pointless to lead an upstanding life, so she buys some flashy clothes and goes to a wild party where she proceeds to get very drunk. It's Maizie who has to pull her formerly sedate sister away from the revelry. On the drive home, Mary grabs the steering wheel away from Maizie and there is an accident. Mary is unhurt, but Maizie is killed. Back home, Joe, who has returned to his old associates, shows up and berates Mary for being just like her sister. Then Mary reveals that her sister has died. The couple both realize the error of their ways and decide to make a fresh start. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
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