Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
William A. Wellman's triangle melodrama "The Steel Highway" -- a title referring to the film's railroad setting -- was changed to the more suggestive Other Men's Women shortly before it's April 19, 1931 New York premiere. Grant Withers and Regis Toomey played lifelong friends and co-workers in love with the same woman, Mary Astor). She, unfortunately, is also Toomey's wife and the two friends have a blow-out on the job. The train derails and Toomey is blinded for life. When the river floods, the repentant Withers concocts a scheme to save an important railroad bridge by driving his engine across, thus stabilizing the construction. Believing his blindness makes him a burden to Astor, Toomey sacrifices himself instead. The ploy fails and Toomey is killed. Toomey and Astor, who had replaced James Hall and Marian Nixon, and Grant Withers were all fine under Wellman's crisp direction but the film was stolen outright by supporting players James Cagney and Joan Blondell, the latter as Wither's former girlfriend. With typical pre-production code frankness, Blondell's tough-talking waitress advises a fresh customer that she is "A.P.O." What does this "A.P.O. means?" the customer asks. Blondell: "Ain't puttin' out!" Blondell and Cagney, who had appeared together in the Broadway play Penny Arcade and its subsequent film version, Sinner's Holiday (1930), would reach stardom in their third film together, the gangster classic The Public Enemy (1931). Overly static at times, Other Men's Women was livened considerably by the climactic bridge collapse, a successful use of miniatures.
accident, blue-collar, bridge [structure], conflict, couple, danger, diet, engine, engineering, firefighter, flood, friendship, husband, love, love-triangle, railroad, sexual-attraction, train [locomotive], vision [eyesight], water, wife, worker, man, play [recreation], training, woman