This is a story where one has love, marriage, accusations of murder, falling in love with another man, World war, and reuniting with an ex-lover. At second glance, it is indeed a movie that contains many themes tied by a heavy screenplay, and we have George Fitzmaurice’s drama ‘Suzy.’
Title protagonist Jean Harlow is an entertainer who dreams big of marrying a rich guy. Luck has it; she falls in love with an inventor Terry (Franchot Tone), in London.
This was the time when World War I was in progress. Early days of marriage, Suzy’s husband discovers her employer to be a German spy. He is killed by Madame Eyrelle (Benita Hume) after becoming aware of her true identity (spy). The blame is put on Suzy, and to avoid imprisonment, she flees to Paris.
Part two of the story takes place when she encounters Andre (Cary Grant), a French aviator and a famous playboy. Suzy falls in love with Andre, and they both decide to get married. Love is a strange thing, and the reciprocations didn’t seem to be present, although they both seem to like each other a lot. Expectations, I suppose.
Andre was the son of a rich French celebrated hero. A palatial place to live, often Suzy is found alone in Andre’s absence. Andre’s father ensures Suzy is well-taken care of, and very soon, they become quite good pals. She writes letters under the pretext of Andre to keep the older man going.
Part Three of the movie – Surprise, Surprise. Terry is alive (he was severely wounded, not killed), and more so, he is Andre’s buddy. Terry is livid to hear about Suzy, and he blames her nature of being a gold digger. He questions her decision to leave him and flee. She takes it as a sponge would soak water without disclosing the accusations she had to bear for his supposed murder.
Part Four shows – Once a playboy, you remain one throughout. Andre’s fascination and slip for women are exploited by Madame Eyrelle, who now need to know more about the war plans through Andre.
Surprisingly Terry and Madame do not recognise each other when they bump into each other. The damage had been done before Madame Eyrelle’s true identity is revealed to Andre. He is killed, and Terry dons Andre’s plane and fights it out, ensuring enemies have none of it.
Part five – A celebrity burial is provided to Andre as Suzy strongly believed, any disclosure of the truth would hurt Andre’s father’s sentiments. Andre’s behaviour was close to being detrimental to his country.
Suzy and Terry reunite, and there ends this drama. The movie has a song, “Did I remember,” which was nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar, tailor-made for Jean Harlow.
Released in 1936, the war flying scenes from this movie were the outtakes from the 1930 super hit Howard Hughes movie ‘Hells Angels.’ Herbert Gorman’s write up on the newspaper inspires the screenplay written by four writers.