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Back Pay (1930)

TV-G | | Drama, Romance | 1 June 1930 (USA)
Hester is bored with Gerald who loves her - bored with the Finley Department store - and bored with Demopolis. She leaves town with a traveling salesman named Bloom and the clothes on her ... See full summary »




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Drama | Romance
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Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Corinne Griffith, Colin Clive, Margaret Bannerman
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Her Private Affair is a 1929 drama film directed by Paul L. Stein and starring Ann Harding. It was produced and distributed by the Pathé Exchange company. A silent film with sound effects and talking sequences.

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Ann Harding, Harry Bannister, John Loder
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Mother-love drama, with songs.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Corinne Griffith, Ralph Forbes, John Loder


Complete credited cast:
Montagu Love ...
Hallam Cooley ...
Al Bloom
Vivien Oakland ...
Kitty (as Vivian Oakland)
Geneva Mitchell ...
William Bailey ...


Hester is bored with Gerald who loves her - bored with the Finley Department store - and bored with Demopolis. She leaves town with a traveling salesman named Bloom and the clothes on her back. They go to New York where she moves up to mistress of Mr. Wheeler and is well cared for. When the gang decides to vacation at Lake Placid, Hester is dropped off at Demopolis to see how the old town looks after four years. She sees Gerald and he thinks she is a successful career woman and he still wants to marry her. But it will never happen so Gerald joins the Army to fight in the Great War. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

1 June 1930 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Apparatus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the film originally ran 77 minutes, the running time was reduced to 57 minutes by the time it opened in New York City in May 1930, and the surviving version as shown on Turner Classic Movies now runs only 54 minutes. See more »


Although ostensibly taking place in the 1914-1918 period, all of the women's hairstyles and fashions are from the 1930s, and the featured automobiles are also of a late-1920s vintage. See more »


Remake of Back Pay (1922) See more »


They Didn't Believe Me
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds
Sung by Corinne Griffith twice
Played in the score often
See more »

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User Reviews

preposterous early talkie with sound victim as star.
14 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This early talkie is hampered by an inadequate cast. The story is similar to a lot of other precode movies- poor, small town girl leaves equally poor, small town, boy to go to big city to search for opportunities. She becomes a mistress of a rich man and part of a set of whore like gold-diggers. Her new life actually seems pretty good. She has a great apartment, her own stereotyped black maid to wait on her,lots of furs and jewelry. And her life back home was pretty dreary- she lived in a boring , small town. She had a dead end job in the local dept. store. And she lived with her aunt who ran a boarding house/brothel. The big city seems a huge step up. But of course, according to the morals of the film, she has erred.

The movie seems to take place in 1930-the cars are all late 20's vintage and the clothes are all stylish flapper stuff we are used to seeing in the movies of this time.

Then the movie turns totally preposterous- it seems there is a war going on. But where? in 1930? What war? Oh no. This is World War 1. So the movie pretends the year is 1917, even though we are clearly in 1928 or 1930.

The heroine's former small town beau is called to fight and he is wounded and she has to nurse him back... you get the idea. She learns and earns redemption.

She is played by Corrine Griffith who was a big silent star in her day. Her performance is inadequate at best. You can see why she failed in talkies. She speaks as if she has marbles in her mouth and the movie actually has the nerve to begin with her singing a song. As if she is showing us the breadth of her talent. The singing is so awful, that I can imagine, the audiences of the day, booing or laughing. I can't believe it wasn't cut. The male lead Grant Withers is also pretty bad,but unfortunately, the movie rests on Miss Griffiths shoulders and she can't make it work. This plot which was based on a Fanny Hurst story,was used in various forms in other pre codes and strong actresses like Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Harding, and many others, made them believable. Miss Griffith did not succeed here.

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