Sunday, June 3, 2012

Silent Sundays: Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (1926)



“Love ‘em and leave ‘em- That’s me”

            There really is not much to say on the plot of Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em. To me it is a typical plot of silent and early talking films.
            Mame Walsh (Evelyn Brent) promised her mother before her death that she would look after her younger sister Janie (Louise Brooks). Mame does her best but Janie is the typical wild flapper of the era going out dancing all night and smoking and drinking. Janie comes home early in the morning after worrying her older sister all night. She is in no way responsible but manages to hold down a job in a department store with Mame and Bill the guy Mame is sweet on and lives in the same building.
            At work Mame helps Bill to dress a new window. The head of the window department really likes what Bill has done and has him switched over to his department. Meanwhile Janie has been put in charge of the treasury for the Employee Welfare League. A dance is coming up soon and she collects a hundred dollars. Janie gambles as well and she puts all the money down on horses through a neighbor. The neighbor is no good and when Janie wins he steals the money.
            Mame goes on vacation for a week by herself. She has Janie work with Bill. During their time working together Bill falls for Janie even though he had asked Mame to marry him. When she comes back she wants to surprise Bill and tell him she will marry him but her surprise backfires when she sees her sister and her lover walk into his room together. To top everything off Janie lets the head of the Employee Welfare League think Mame stole the money and used it. Now Mame has to try to get her money back from the corrupt neighbor.
            All works out in the end with Mame foolishly going back to Bill.
            Blah blah blah. I was a bit bored with Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em. The only reason I watched it was to see Louise Brooks who was not even really worth it. But I will say that Brooks had magnetic charm the camera just loved her. She was the ideal modern flapper and she did that wonderfully in the party scene at the end. Evelyn Brent was not too great but she was not awful. You can tell she was the older sister she looked. Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em is good to watch to see the clothing and sets from the 1920s but other than those things and a nineteen year old Louise Brooks it is just an old silent without real drawing power.