Sadie Thompson (1928)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  7 January 1928 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,954 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 13 critic

A prostitute seeking a fresh start becomes the obsession of a religious extremist.



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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sadie could storm any barrack she attacked! Magnetism had never been heard of until she hit town! What a woman! You'll say so, too! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

7 January 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La frágil voluntad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(reconstructed) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Stills from the original shoot had to be used to approximate the eight-minute last reel because it had decayed while in storage. See more »


Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Where do you hail from Sadie?
Sadie Thompson: San Francisco.
Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: That's funny - - my best pal married a girl from San Francisco.
Sadie Thompson: What part of San Francisco?
Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Where they hang out the red lanterns.
Sadie Thompson: [thoughtfully] Are they happy?
Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Sure! 'Sfunny but them that kicks the highest often settles down the hardest.
See more »


Referenced in Road to Bali (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

Stunning Swanson!
6 June 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

What a performance - Swanson bursts out of the screen, as Somerset Maugham's prostitute heroine trapped on a tropical island with a crusading parson and a sexy sergeant. And Lionel Barrymore as the parson and the director Raoul Walsh as the sergeant are her match. This is silent acting at its best.

Yes the piece is a little stagey and the action too confined for a silent picture, but when the photography is as brilliant as it is here - who cares? It deservedly won the first ever Oscar for cinematography.

This is a passionate and beautiful production. What a tragedy that the last few minutes have been lost. They have been reconstructed using titles and stills - but how I would have loved to have seen the scene when Barrymore rapes Swanson. It must have been breathtaking. Don't miss this film.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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