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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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