Montana Moon

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Original title Montana Moon
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1930
length 71 minutes
Director Malcolm St. Clair
script Sylvia Thalberg ,
Frank Butler
production MGM
music Herbert Stothart
camera William H. Daniels
cut Carl Pierson ,
Leslie F. Wilder

Montana Moon is a 1930 film with Joan Crawford directed by Malcolm St. Clair . It was the last time the actress appeared as a flapper .


Joan is a rich and spoiled New York heiress who one day travels on an impulse to the family ranch in Montana. There she meets Larry, a real cowboy, whose rough charm wins her heart. After a short publicity, Joan agrees to marry Larry. Some time later, Joan dislikes living on Larry's low income. She longs for luxury and variety. So she runs away with Jeff, a gigolo and playboy. Just as the two are about to take the train east, the train is attacked by a masked bandit who takes Joan on his horse and rides her into the sunset. Joan is shocked at first, but when she recognizes Larry behind the mask, her disgust turns into love.


After a steep rise from extra to leading lady, Joan Crawford had her breakthrough as a star with the appearance in Our Dancing Daughters , which presented her as a fun-loving member of better society. Her portrayal of a dance-mad flapper gained Crawford an enormous following among the youth of the time, and the studio repeated the successful formula of a whole series of films, all starting with Our . At the beginning of 1930, however, with the dawn of the global economic crisis, far-reaching changes for the film industry were foreseeable. The role of the easy-going flapper, who leads a life in luxury without material worries and devoted himself to never-ending parties and entertainment, was quickly passed. Montana Moon was one of the last films that was still completely committed to the lifestyle of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties. The film, which according to some critics should have been better called Our Dancing Daughter Goes West , posed a challenge for the actress despite the stereotypical character drawing, since it was largely shot on location as one of the first MGM productions. The recordings took place in the great outdoors and not in the studio. In view of the not inconsiderable problems with which the sound film still had to struggle, this was a considerable risk. The actress sings a few songs over the course of the plot, including The Moon is Low and Let Me Give You Love . The below-average box office results indicated that Joan Crawford's on-screen image needed further adjustments. The actress therefore convinced studio boss Louis B. Mayer to release her from her obligations for the operetta Great Day and instead give her the lead role in Paid , which would become one of the actress' greatest financial successes.

The basic idea of ​​the film - a spoiled rich heiress is tamed by a rough cowboy - was used several times over the next few years. In the following year , Paramount Pictures shot a barely concealed remake with Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard under the title I Take this Woman , but without the vocals. In 1938 it was Merle Oberon , a wealthy western lady, who found happiness with Gary Cooper in The Cowboy and the Lady .

Theatrical release

The budget was only $ 277,000, which was below the usual cost of a Joan Crawford film. Due to the growing popularity of Joan Crawford, Montana Moon brings in 751,000 US dollars in the USA, which was, however, somewhat below the average for her films. Together with foreign income of 209,000 US dollars, the cumulative total result was 906,000 US dollars. The profit for the studio was $ 326,000.


The best reviews received the camel hair coat and riding suit worn by Crawford during the course of the plot.

Mordaunt Hall wrote in the New York Times :

“A boring, amateur-like sound film with occasional vocal interludes [...] There is no concept of the sound recordings and when Joan Crawford sings, her voice is always the same whether she is in the foreground or far away in the cowboy camp in the middle of Monata. [...] All in all, Miss Crawford's camel hair coat and her riding costume in the Jodhpurs style are the best sights in this production. "


  • Charlotte Chandler: Not the Girl Next Door . Simon and Schuster, New York, 2008, ISBN 1-4332-0926-8 .
  • Shaun Considine: Bette and Joan. The Divine Feud . Dutton, New York 1989, ISBN 0-525-24770-X .
  • Lawrence J. Quirk , William Schoell: Joan Crawford. The Essential Biography . University Press, Lexington, KY. 2002, ISBN 0-8131-2254-6 .
  • Alexander Walker: Joan Crawford. The Ultimate Star . Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1983, ISBN 0-297-78216-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. An interminable, amateurish talking picture with spasmodic snatches of melody […] There is little or no idea of ​​sound perspective in its recording, and when Joan Crawford sings, her vocal efforts are equally loud, whether she is in the foreground or on a distant edge of the Montana cowboys' camp […] Taking it all in all, the most pleasing features of this production are Miss Crawford's camel's hair coat and her jodhpur riding outfit.