When Ladies Meet (1941) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A successful novelist falls in love with her married publisher, to the consternation of her boyfriend, who arranges for her to meet the publisher's wife.

  • Mary, a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher. Her suitor Jimmy is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher's wife without telling Mary who she is.

  • Successful in their respective careers, journalist Jimmy Lee considers novelist Mary Howard as his best friend and the love of his life, he believing she considering him the same, regardless or because of the rather fun-filled nature of their relationship. So he is surprised when she turns down his marriage proposal. Able to read between the literal and figurative lines as his friend, he knows that there is another person in her life, he being her new publisher, Rogers Woodruf. Jimmy also knows that Mary is trying to attract Rogers through intellect as opposed to romance, the reason she is now wearing a fake pair of glasses. The "literal" part of the story is Mary's latest novel which she is close to completing, and which only someone like Jimmy knows is autobiographical in nature. The core to the story is a woman and man falling in love, despite the man already being married. In real life, Mary has not met Rogers' wife, Clare Woodruf, and thus to her she is an unknown quantity in what is happening between her and Rogers. Mary will write the ending as she and Rogers get closer to figuring out how their own real story will play itself out. Purely by chance, Jimmy meets Clare at a social function, Clare who has no idea about there being a "Mary" or any other woman currently in Rogers' life. As such, Jimmy tries to manipulate the situation to his advantage in getting Mary back by arranging for Mary and Clare to meet without either woman knowing who the other is. Unwittingly facilitating or complicating the situation as the case may be is Mary and Jimmy's flighty socialite friend, Bridgie Drake.



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