Girl Who Had Everything, The (1953): Thorpe’s Melodrama, Starring William Powell and Elizabeth Taylor

Richard Thorpe directed this minor family and romantic melodrama, starring William Powell in his last MGM feature and one of his last roles before retirement. and Elizabeth Taylor in one of her transitional parts into adulthood.

The Girl Who Had Everything
Girl Who Had Everything.jpg

Theatrical Film Poster

The screenplay was written by Art Cohn, based upon a 1928 play by Willard Mack, which in turn was based on the 1927 novel A Free Soul by Adela Rogers St. Johns. The play and novel had inspired an earlier (and better) film adaptation, A Free Soul (1931)

The film follows Steve Latimer (William Powell), a successful defense attorney, serving as a good if spoiling father to Jean (Elizabeth Taylor).

The relationship changes when she leaves her boyfriend, the amiable Vance Court (Gig Young), for Victor Ramondi (Fernando Lamas), a rakish man with dangerous underworld connections whom Steve is representing. Steve tries to warn Jean away from Victor, but she accepts his proposal of marriage.

During their first night together, Jean opens up to Vic and nonchalantly expresses her worries about her father’s struggle with alcoholism.

Jean is intrigued by the fact that Victor is known to be a “bad boy,” given that Jean had been the “Girl Who Had Everything” throughout her life due to her father.

The spark between Jean and Ramondi continues to ignite when Victor outbids Vance in an auction in Lexington, Kentucky for a $20,000 colt, which he later gives to Jean as gift.

As Ramondi’s defense attorney, Steve was aware of his tricks and mal intentions, warn his daughter of his deceitful past.

In the meantime, she agrees to her father’s proposal to take a short vacation with him to the Smokies to clear her head. However, after a few days, she cannot stand to be apart from Victor and departs to New York to see him.

Gradually, the true character of Ramondi is exposed, and Jean is finally able to see him for the corrupt and angry man that he truly is. He hits both her father and her out of anger, and though he later apologizes, she calls off their engagement.

Victor departs, and while he is stopped at a traffic light in his car, he is killed by a man in an adjacent truck.

When the reporters come to interview the Latimers, they say that Ramondi was a gambler, and he lost his own game.

In the closing scene, Jean and Vance reconcile and embrace with a hug. His intuition about Ramondi was always right–though it took time before Jean could see it.

Handsome Argentinean actor Fernando Lamas plays yet another variation of his Latin Lover screen roles, a type who could never break away from.

The film made $739,000 in the US and Canada and $479,000 elsewhere, resulting in a modest profit of $116,000.


Elizabeth Taylor Jean Latimer
Fernando Lamas Victor Y. Ramondi
William Powell Steve Latimer
Gig Young Vance Court
James Whitmore Charles “Chico” Menlow
William Walker Julian
Emory Parnell Horse Auctioneer


Directed by Richard Thorpe
Written by Willard Mack, play; screenplay by Art Cohn, based on A Free Soul 1927 novel by Adela Rogers St. Johns
Produced by Armand Deutsch
Cinematography Paul Vogel
Edited by Ben Lewis
Music by André Previn
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release date: March 27, 1953 (U.S.)

Running time: 69 minutes
Budget $665,000
Box office $1,218,000


I am grateful to TCM for showing this movie on June 27, 2022.