Ladies They Talk About

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Ladies They Talk About
Ladies They Talk About.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Raymond Griffith (uncredited)
Screenplay by
  • Brown Holmes
  • William McGrath
  • Sidney Sutherland
Story by
  • Dorothy Mackaye
  • Carlton Miles
Music by Cliff Hess (uncredited)
Cinematography John Seitz
Edited by Basil Wrangell
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • February 4, 1933 (1933-02-04) (USA)
Running time
69 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Ladies They Talk About is a 1933 Pre-Code American crime drama directed by Howard Bretherton and William Keighley, and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, and Lyle Talbot. Based on the play Women in Prison by Dorothy Mackaye and Carlton Miles, the film is about an attractive woman who is a member of a bank-robbery gang. She confesses her crime to an acquaintance, who sends her to prison because he loves her.


Nan Taylor (Stanwyck) is accused of helping her friends rob a bank. Reform-minded David Slade (Foster) falls in love with her and gets her released. However, when she confesses that she is guilty, he has her imprisoned. Inside, she meets fellow inmates Linda (Roth), "Sister Susie" (Dorothy Burgess) and Aunt Maggie (Maude Eburne), and prison matron Noonan (Ruth Donnelly). Taylor gets involved in a prison escape, has a year added to her sentence, and goes gunning for revenge when she is released.

Production notes[edit]

Unlike most films of the women in prison genre, Taylor's fellow inmates are criminals, rather than innocents in prison by mistake.[1]



The New York Times said "When a reformer and a dashing female bank bandit fall in love, their home life may be somewhat as illustrated in the lingering finale of 'Ladies They Talk About,' [...] After a torrid argument in which Nan, the gun-girl, accuses her beloved of frustrating a jail-break in which two of her pals were killed, she loses her temper, draws a gun from her handbag and shoots him. 'I didn't mean to do that,' Nan remarks a moment later as David Slade falls to the floor with a bullet in his shoulder. 'Why, that's all right, Nan,' responds her husband-to-be. 'It's nothing.'" [...] "It is in the prison scenes that the film provides some interesting drama. 'Ladies They Talk About' is effective when it is describing the behavior of the prisoners, the variety of their misdemeanors, their positions in the social whirl outside, their ingenuity in giving an intimate domestic touch to the prison, and their frequently picturesque way of exhibiting pride, jealousy, vanity and other untrammeled feminine emotions."[2]


The film was remade in 1942 under the title Lady Gangster, starring Faye Emerson.


  1. ^ Basinger, Jeanine (1995). A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. p. 385. ISBN 0-8195-6291-2. 
  2. ^ "Ladies They Talk About (1933) - A Woman Bandit.", New York Times, February 25, 1933.

External links[edit]