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Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 10 October 1931 (USA)
Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.


Robert Z. Leonard (uncredited)


Leon Gordon (dialogue), David Graham Phillips (novel) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Helga aka Susan Lenox
Clark Gable ... Rodney Spencer
Jean Hersholt ... Karl Ohlin
John Miljan ... Burlingham
Alan Hale ... Jeb Mondstrum
Hale Hamilton ... Mike Kelly
Hilda Vaughn ... Astrid Ohlin
Russell Simpson ... Doctor
Cecil Cunningham ... Madame Panoramia aka Pansy
Ian Keith ... Robert Lane


Susan, an orphan, lives the life of Cinderella with rustic relatives. She escapes one stormy night when the fiance her relatives chose tries to force his attentions. Rodney, an architecht, is the prince who rescues her, but he has to take a trip and the wicked relatives catch up with her again. Her next rescuer is a tatooed lady in a circus who can't save her from the circus manager. Rodney shows up and dismisses her as a fallen woman. Susan moves up in the world to the penthouse of a politician who can offer a construction contract to Rodney. Rodney says no and flees to the jungle with Susan in pursuit. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She sought the sweet fruits of living, snatching at each bit of happiness....what if the world did call her bad. (Print Ad- Niagra Falls Gazette, ((Niagra Falls, NY)) 5 November 1931)


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The photo of Rodney's father is actually a publicity shot of silent film star Hobart Bosworth. See more »


(around 29 mins 50 seconds) When Susan Lenox uses the horses and buggy to escape from Ohlin, she is in a frenzy driving the horses standing up and behind the seat but when she arrives at the train station she is sitting down. See more »


Susan Lenox: This hurt that we have inflicted upon each other, its become a bond. Nothing can break it. But, just like, like two cripples, twisted. Only together can we ever become straight.
Rodney Spencer: You have a queer way of looking at things.
See more »


Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars: The Lion's Roar (1992) See more »


Overture to Romeo and Juliet
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played over the opening credits
Reprised as background music during Mike's party
Played at the end
See more »

User Reviews

Garbo. Enough said.
16 October 2001 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

Maybe the novel had substance, but as boiled down by a team of MGM hacks the script comes off as silly women's-magazine stuff. Garbo escapes an arranged marriage to a brute, meets Gable, is forced to run away and join the circus (!), is spurned by Gable through a misunderstanding, swears revenge on him but still loves him, just happens to run into him again in a hard-drinking south-of-the-border backwater... you get the idea. There's never any doubt as to the outcome, but surely they could have come up with more of an ending than the one here, where both characters give in to each other more out of exhaustion than anything else.

Garbo is, as expected, faultless -- intuitive, honest, and at the peak of her beauty. Lovingly lit by her favorite cameraman, William Daniels, she's magnetic even when forced into hackneyed situations and purple dialogue. The director, Robert Z. Leonard, plays some interesting Freudian tricks -- the shadows are deep and symbolic, and most of the male characters seem to be carrying sticks of one sort or another. Without Garbo it would be typical early-talkie MGM junk, but she lends dignity and distinctiveness even to boilerplate stuff like this.

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Release Date:

10 October 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) See more »


Box Office


$572,638 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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