Young Desire. 1930. USA. Directed by Lewis D. Collins. Screenplay by Winifred Reeve, from a play by William R. Doyle. With Mary Nolan, William Janney, Mae Busch. 68 min.
Another of Hollywood’s tragic blondes, Mary Nolan was a Ziegfeld Girl who fled to Germany in the wake of a scandal, where she changed her name to “Imogene Robertson” and appeared in 17 films before returning to the US and landing a 1928 contract with Universal. Though addicted to drugs and difficult to work with, Nolan was a memorably haunted presence in a handful of films, including this early sound melodrama in which she stars as a carnival hoochie-coochie dancer who dreams of quitting the trade and marrying a rich young man. The film’s startling conclusion anticipates Nolan’s own unhappy fate. 35mm.