Jeanne Eagels plays the bored and restless Leslie Crosbie who turns to another man, Geoffrey Hammond (Herbert Marshall) for attention when neglected by her husband Robert (Reginald Owen). ...
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Jeanne Eagels plays the bored and restless Leslie Crosbie who turns to another man, Geoffrey Hammond (Herbert Marshall) for attention when neglected by her husband Robert (Reginald Owen). Robert decides to go out for the evening to pick up a new rifle. Leslie's calm vanishes as she awaits an answer to a letter she has written Hammond. He has found a new love - a beautiful unscrupulous native woman Li Ti (Lady Tsei Mei) and has discarded Leslie. Written by
It was only the second year of the Academy but already they were voting politically - Jeanne Eagels' brilliant performance in this creaky early talkie had to make do with an Oscar nom and the statuette went to the worst performance ever to win - Mary Pickford's in COQUETTE. The only existing print was a work print without music or final editing, but wherever it's shown, Eagels stuns and captivates with her beguiling, powerful performance. She is so convincing on the witness stand that while we know she is lying through her teeth (we did after all SEE her kill the man), we in the audience find ourselves, like the jurors, believing in her innocence, before we suddenly catch ourselves. THAT is GREAT ACTING. The film needs to be made available on video so that the world can enjoy this terrific performance again. (One silent of Jeanne's exists in archive print - MAN, WOMAN AND SIN - and her only other talkie, JEALOUSY, is "lost," so this is the only document we have of her. Run to see it (when it first came out of the archives to be shown in NYC in the early 70s, the Village Voice printed a full page review, worshipping the Eagels performance).
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