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Sadie Thompson (1928)

 -  Drama  -  7 January 1928 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,854 users  
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A prostitute seeking a fresh start becomes the obsession of a religious extremist.

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(story), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Blanche Friderici ...
Charles Lane ...
Florence Midgley ...
James A. Marcus ...
Sofia Ortega ...
Will Stanton ...
Raoul Walsh ...
...
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Storyline

Sadie Thompson arrives in Pago-Pago to start a new life, but when extremist missionary Davidson lashes out against her lifestyle and tries to force her back to San Francisco, she may lose her second chance. Written by Mike Myers <mmyers@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Piercing drama on an isle in the tropic South Seas! The star of stars in the picture of pictures! Gloria Swanson, glorious exponent of emotion, in the finest film of her career! "Sadie's" the lady you'll never forget! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

7 January 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La frágil voluntad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(reconstructed) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The musical version of Sadie Thompson opened at the Alvin Theater on November 16, 1944 and ran for 60 performances. See more »

Quotes

Sadie Thompson: [to Mr. Davidson] You've got the power to hang me but I've got the power to tell you - hang me and be damned!
Alfred Davidson: [to his wife, wiping his forehead] That girl is possessed with devils!
See more »

Connections

Version of Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Gloria Swanson, Movie Star
16 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gloria Swanson takes hold of the screen and does not for one minute let it go in this adaptation of a W. Somerset Maugham novella about a free-wheeling firecracker (read: prostitute) who comes under the tyranny of a self-appointed reformer (a frightening Lionel Barrymore) in a battle of wills over her salvation. Swanson received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her work in the very first year of Oscar's existence. She lost to Janet Gaynor, who was nominated for a trio of performances that first year, but I'm not so sure she shouldn't have won. Raoul Walsh, tough-guy director of later films like James Cagney's "White Heat" (1949), directed "Sadie Thompson" and stars in the film as Sadie's love interest. The whole thing unfolds in a tropical location during a downpour, and it captures the over-heated exotic atmosphere perfectly.

The film's impact is somewhat blunted because of its missing last moments. The version I saw reconstructed the final 10 minutes or so using still shots and title cards; one can only imagine what the actual footage was like. The film has a rather startling conclusion, not because I don't agree with it but rather because a mere ten years later (after enforcement of the Production Code) and for decades after, it wouldn't have been allowed to end the way it does, with Sadie exposing religion as a hypocritical sham and not changing her own racy tendencies one bit.

Grade: B+


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