Young Desire (1930)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 68 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Released in both silent and sound versions, this lurid melodrama from Universal was based on the 1924 play Carnival by William R. Doyle. Mary Nolan, whose demure name hid a rather volatile personality, played Helen Herbert, a sideshow dancer falling for handsome socialite Bobby Spencer (Leon Janney). After a tête-à-tête with Spencer Sr. (George Irving), Helen, like a carnival version of Marguerite Gautier, heroically disappears from young Bobby's life by leaping to her death from a balloon. A former Ziegfeld girl, Mary Nolan kept changing her moniker (from "Bubbles" Wilson to Imogene Robertson to Mary Nolan) in order to escape a series of lurid scandals. Retiring from films in 1932, she later suffered bouts with drug addiction, managed a bungalow court in Hollywood, and died all but forgotten at the young age of 43 in 1948.



burlesque, carnival, dance [art], forbidden-love, homosexual, love, romance, socialite, star-crossed-lovers, suicide