Carole Lombard in No More Orchids (1932)


(director/writer: Walter Lang; screenwriters: Gertrude Purcell/Keene Thompson/from a novel by Grace Perkins; cinematographer: Joseph August; editor: Jack Dennis; cast: Carole Lombard (Anne Holt), Walter Connolly (Bill Holt), Louise Closser Hale (Gran Holt), Lyle Talbot (Tony Gage), C. Aubrey Smith (Jerome Cedric), Allen Vincent (Dick), Ruthelma Stevens (Rita), Arthur Houseman (Burkhart), Jameson Thomas (Prince Carlos); Runtime: 71; MPAA Rating: NR; Columbia Pictures; 1932)

“Routine soaper that stands out because of Carole Lombard’s cheeky performance.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Walter Lang (“Snow White and the Three Stooges”/”Can-Can”/”Desk Set”) helms this routine soaper that stands out because of Carole Lombard’s cheeky performance. It’s based on a novel by Grace Perkins and is written by Gertrude Purcell and Keene Thompson.

Anne Holt (Carole Lombard) is the flighty, spoiled rich brat daughter of a warm-hearted NYC bank president, Bill Holt (Walter Connolly), and is heiress to a fortune. Returning to New York from a Paris vacation, where she got engaged to Prince Carlos (Jameson Thomas), Anne meets on the luxury liner Tony Gage (Lyle Talbot). The Mr. Perfect hunk is a low-level lawyer in a firm that works for her dad. Despite a rough start the two predictably fall in love. Back on land, Bill meets Tony and approves of him, as does Gran Holt (Louise Closser Hale). She chaperoned her grand-daughter on her European trip.

Bill learns that the bank is going under because he made bad loans, and his wealthy overbearing father-in-law, Jerome Cedric (C. Aubrey Smith), the overseer to the family fortune, is the only one who can save the bank. But Bill refuses to ask his help. Meanwhile the unlikable Cedric tells Anne he arranged for the marriage because he wants the family to marry into royalty and get a title, and says he’ll bail her beloved pop out so he doesn’t go to jail if she marries the prince, even though she doesn’t love him, but will disinherit her if she marries the nobody Gage. The dutiful daughter dumps Tony to marry the prince, to the surprise of dad who only cares about his daughter’s happiness.

As long as Lombard is supplied with racy quips, the pic has juice. But when the quips die down and the pic goes into a deadly serious melodramatic mode and ends with a bittersweet ending, the pic crashes.

The title is a reference to a Paramount publicity campaign promoting Lombard’s alleged fondness for orchids. Here it refers to Lombard giving up her rich lifestyle to marry the working-class stiff.


REVIEWED ON 10/18/2010 GRADE: B-