Sadie Thompson (1928)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  7 January 1928 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,969 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


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 »




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Release Date:

7 January 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La frágil voluntad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(reconstructed) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gloria Swanson's distinctive Sadie Thompson costume was at one point housed in The Crocker Museum in Hollywood, the first museum dedicated to props and other artifacts from American films. The museum was started by actor Harry Crocker, circa 1928. See more »


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 »

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User Reviews

The amazing Gloris Swanson
27 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this film, Swanson shows that she was one of those personalities who almost literally jumped from the screen. This is the first of two excellent film versions of Rain; the other being that of Joan Crawford.The fact that Swanson was somewhat older then Crawford adds to the greater impact of her performance, in my opinion. She offers us a world-weary prostitute who may or may not be looking to settle down; yet who still has fire in her veins. She does an outstanding job in conveying the emotions of Sadie both when she is sensuous and flirtatious at the beginning of the film; and when she undergoes a temporary change of character. Those of us who have seen Sunset Boulevard half-a-dozen times can easily see the anticipation of her bravura performance as Norma Desmond here, in Sadie Thompson. Her films after Sadie were trifles in which she had little opportunity to display any depth of character. Film history sentimentalists had to be gratified by her re-emergence in Sunset Boulevard, even though many might regard her performance there as somewhat overdone. All other components of this film are as admirable as other comments claim. However, I will put in a plug for Walter Huston in Rain, especially the brief close-up when you can see his judgmental attitude toward Sadie turn into lust. Lionel Barrymore is very good, but seems to me to be somewhat more remote from the character. The completion of the final scenes with stills and occasional bits of film are not a great barrier to enjoyment of this classic.

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