Ladies In Retirement is a 1941 American mystery film directed by Charles Vidor. The film stars Edward Everett Horton, Ida Lupino, and Louis Hayward. The plot follows a former actress who takes a job as a companion to an elderly woman living in an isolated mansion. When the elderly woman’s niece arrives unexpectedly, the situation turns deadly. In this article, we will talk about Ladies In Retirement ending explained.
Ladies In Retirement was based on the play of the same name by Edward Percy and Reginald Denham. Columbia Pictures released the film on November 7, 1941. Critical reception for Ladies In Retirement was mostly positive, and the film was a box office success. Horton’s performance was praised, and many critics singled out Lupino’s performance as the film’s highlight.
Ladies In Retirement Plot
Ellen Creed, a proud spinster who has fallen on hard times, has worked for her old friend Leonora Fiske, a wealthy retiree who was once a chorus girl “of easy virtue,” for the past two years as her housekeeper and companion. Ellen receives a letter threatening that the police will be called and the sisters will be kicked out of their apartments for outrageous behavior unless she can control her two eccentric sisters. Ellen is allowed to invite her sisters to come over by Leonora.
Albert Feather, a handsome young stranger who claims to be Ellen’s nephew, shows up one day while Ellen is away. He receives a loan from Leonora, but Albert demands that she keep his visit and the loan a secret from Ellen. When Ellen and her sisters return, they quickly outstay their welcome and become a burden for Leonora and her maid Lucy. Leonora complains to Ellen that the sisters are ruining her possessions and making her anxious, noting that two days have turned into six weeks. Finally, Leonora orders them to leave, but Ellen begs her to reconsider because she fears her sisters will be placed in an institution. Then, in a fit of rage, Ellen kills Leonora by strangulation.
Ellen informs Lucy and the visitors that Leonora is away. She tells her sisters that she purchased the home and demands that they promise never to bring up Leonora or the home’s sale again. In a terrible storm, some nearby nuns come to the house to borrow something. After Ellen sends Lucy to the shed, Albert, with whom Lucy had a flirtatious encounter the first time he visited the Fiske home, surprises Lucy. She is asked not to tell Ellen that he has been there or is in the shed as he flirts with her. Instead, he enters through the front door, telling Ellen that he is a wanted burglar and needs assistance and a place to stay. Albert is not allowed to stay, so Ellen buys him a boat ticket to leave the country and promises to give him some money to start over.
Lucy and Albert discover proof that Ellen is keeping something about Leonora a secret. Leonora’s wig is discovered, and they wonder why she did not bring it. A letter from the bank asking why Leonora’s signature on a check differs significantly from the one they have on file is intercepted by Albert. After Ellen replies to them with information about a “sprained wrist,” Albert reads the blotter. Albert is putting the puzzle together while Lucy cannot comprehend what is taking place.
Ladies In Retirement Ending Explained
Albert tries to steal the hidden money while seducing Lucy, but he is unsuccessful. He makes Lucy play Leonora’s favorite song while sitting at the piano with her back to Ellen, who screams and collapses at the sight of her. Albert decides against traveling in favor of staying and extorting his aunt to live comfortably in the nation. Ellen confesses when he confronts her, and he then discusses his crimes. As the neighboring nuns knock on the door and Lucy runs out of the house after hearing them, Albert hides.
The nuns inform Ellen that the police want a man matching Albert’s description. When she hands over the ticket and money, Albert emerges from hiding and departs. After returning from their stroll, Ellen’s sisters inform her that they saw Albert playing tag with two men. Ellen waves to the sisters, puts on her coat and hat, says she’s going to see some men, kisses them goodbye, and walks into the mist.
In the end, it is revealed that Emily was responsible for the deaths of her employers. She killed them to inherit their money and live a life of luxury. When her niece arrives and threatens to expose her, she also kills her. In the end, Emily is arrested and taken away by the police.
The ending of Ladies In Retirement is tragic, but it also highlights the power of greed. Emily’s greed led her to commit murder and ultimately led to her downfall. While she may have enjoyed a life of luxury for a brief time, it was not worth the price she paid in the end.