Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Promoted as a follow-up to Frank Capra's 1933 hit Lady for a Day, Lady by Choice resembles the earlier film only in its choice of leading lady. May Robson plays a drunken derelict who'd once been quite a heartbreaker. Her self-respect is restored when she is asked to pose as fan-dancer Carole Lombard's mother. Lombard is part of the deal only to gain publicity for herself, but Robson takes her assignment seriously, ordering Lombard to give up her tacky profession and use her talents for something more dignified. At first against her will, Lombard starts taking formal acting and singing lessons and begins gaining a reputation as a serious artist. Wealthy Roger Pryor, a family friend of Robson's, falls in love with Lombard, but she breaks off the relationship so that Pryor won't be disinherited. Robson takes a hand in things, forcing Pryor and Lombard together in a delightfully devious fashion. Lady By Choice proved that Columbia Pictures (and scriptwriter Jo Swerling) could turn out a perfectly respectable Frank Capra film without Frank Capra.
love, mother, publicity, redemption, self-respect, dance [art], friendship, romance, alcoholism