After being released from prison, Lorry Evans (Constance Bennett) and her friend Minnie (Pert Kelton) board a steamboat bound for New Orleans. But when Lorry is accused of theft, she jumps overboard to evade punishment and is rescued by Dan (Joel McCrea), the owner of a passing cotton barge. Although Lorry and Dan are attracted to one another, he wakes up the next morning to find both Lorry and his money gone. Lorry has left for New Orleans and looked up Stephen Paige (John Halliday), a wealthy publisher she had seen on the steamboat. After she uses some very clever tricks, one thing leads to another, and Lorry becomes Stephen's mistress. Some time later, she goes to see Dan to return she money she had taken from him, and they soon fall in love. Lorry accepts Dan's marriage proposal, but then must decide whether or not to tell him about her past.
I really enjoy watching Bed of Roses! It's such a fun, lively pre-code. The plot is so entertaining, with lots of memorable scenes and risque moments -- particularly the plans and schemes, with some of the smartest being how Lorry hooks Stephen. Everything is really well executed and convincing.
The cast is just about perfect. Constance Bennett is beautiful and self-assured, putting on a tough front but also showing just the slightest vulnerability underneath. Again, such incredible chemistry with Joel McCrea! This is my favorite of their films together. John Halliday gives a good performance as Stephen, while Pert Kelton is awesome as Lorry's world-weary friend Minnie, and has tons of hilarious lines.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥