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The Branded Man (1928)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  May 1928 (USA)
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Fred Colgate, wealthy young man, learns that his tramp wife has been unfaithful and leaves her, and goes to Mexico. An accident causes him to be thought dead. He becomes a prizefighter, and... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Charles Delaney ...
Fred 'Deacon' Colgate
...
Louise
Gordon Griffith ...
Bruce
George Riley ...
Billy
Andy Clyde ...
Jenkins
Erin La Bissoniere ...
Eleanor
Lucy Beaumont ...
The Mother
Henry Roquemore ...
Hippo
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Storyline

Fred Colgate, wealthy young man, learns that his tramp wife has been unfaithful and leaves her, and goes to Mexico. An accident causes him to be thought dead. He becomes a prizefighter, and when he return to his home city, he encounters a strange situation. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

May 1928 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
No midgets, no ventriloquists.
9 July 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

I sought out 'The Branded Man' because it was based on a story by Tod Robbins, author of some grotesque fiction. I was disappointed twice over: firstly, this story contains no homicidal midgets, schizophrenic ventriloquists, nor any of the other bizarre elements in Robbins's best work. Secondly, even on its own merits, this story isn't much more than prosaic.

Here goes. Fred Colgate is a simple homespun man who happens to be immensely rich, thanks to a convenient inheritance. (In real life, Tod Robbins inherited money as a young man, and married a couple of millionaire heiresses.) As part of his inheritance, Fred finds himself the landlord of a block of flats. While inspecting his property, he meets one of his tenants -- the mercenary Eleanor -- who straight away vamps him and marries him. But Eleanor isn't faithful. When Fred catches her vamping another man, he's so humiliated he abandons his business and runs away, leaving everyone to assume that Fred is dead. He's not dead: he's just in Mexico, where he's decided to start all over as a prizefighter. (Andy Clyde, usually a performer in comedy roles, is excellent as his trainer.) Meanwhile, Fred has a reunion with sweet Louise, who knew him when he was poor ... and now that he's poor again, she loves him. SPOILERS COMING NOW. Eleanor is murdered by her lover, leaving Fred free to reclaim his abandoned identity -- and his money -- and to marry Louise.

I found this movie more than somewhat implausible. Its title refers to the fact that Fred feels branded, stigmatised by his wife's infidelity. But why should her behaviour be a reflection on him? I was never able to respect the leading character in this movie, because he felt guilty for events that weren't his own fault, and he didn't stand up to defend his reputation. It doesn't help that the art direction and production values are so poor. Sadly, I'll rate this movie just 3 points out of 10, for the good performances of Andy Clyde and Gordon Griffith despite a badly-written script.


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