IMDb > Sadie Thompson (1928)
Sadie Thompson
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Sadie Thompson (1928) More at IMDbPro »

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Sadie Thompson -- Somerset Maugham's controversial story of a San Francisco prostitute and a South Pacific reformer.


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W. Somerset Maugham (story)
Raoul Walsh (adaptation)
View company contact information for Sadie Thompson on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 January 1928 (USA) See more »
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 »
A prostitute seeking a fresh start becomes the obsession of a religious extremist. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
(7 articles)
Wright Minibio Pt.2: Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Movie
 (From Alt Film Guide. 6 March 2015, 8:28 PM, PST)

The Letter (1929) Review: Jeanne Eagels Sole Extant Talking Performance
 (From Alt Film Guide. 27 January 2012, 3:33 PM, PST)

Sadie Thompson
 (From Blogdanovich. 3 November 2011, 7:28 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Gloria Swanson, Movie Star See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Raoul Walsh 
Writing credits
W. Somerset Maugham (story)

Raoul Walsh (adaptation)

C. Gardner Sullivan (titles)

John Colton  play "Rain" (uncredited)
Clemence Randolph  play "Rain" (uncredited)

Produced by
Gloria Swanson .... producer (uncredited)
Raoul Walsh .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Joseph Turrin (1987)
Cinematography by
George Barnes (photographed by)
Robert Kurrle (photographed by)
Oliver T. Marsh (photographed by) (as Oliver Marsh)
Film Editing by
C. Gardner Sullivan (edited by)
Art Direction by
William Cameron Menzies 
Production Management
Pierre Bedard .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Tummel .... assistant director (uncredited)
Other crew
Dennis Doros .... archivist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:91 min (reconstructed version) | USA:97 min (original version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Q (1982)See more »


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Gloria Swanson, Movie Star, 16 September 2011
Author: evanston_dad from United States

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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