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 »
Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, ... See full summary »
Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »
Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
As studio financing dwindled away for Hugo Haas, his last film as a writer-director-producer has certain autobiographical elements, a cast featuring several film veterans from the silent ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
Ashame that Corinne Griffith was not more adroit at the Talkies...
Having recently inherited an uncle's large selection of silent films, I fell in love with silent diva Corinne Griffith. I managed to see four of her silent films (The Divine Lady, Black Oxen, The Garden of Eden, and Classified) and was totally astounded by her. We are very fortunate that talkies did not come in earlier, for we would have never gotten a glimpse at some great artistry. Many people claim that a great many silent stars were not good enough actors to survive in talkies. This is a shaky claim. Sound cinema and silent cinema are two totally different mediums. Acting techniques popular in the talkies would have not been effective in silent films. Hypothetically assuming that we had gone the other direction, from talking films to silent ones, it is quite legitimate to think that many talking stars would not survive in silent cinema: this is not, however, enough to claim they were not good enough at acting itself. Its just that they were not good at a particular type of acting. Case in point: Back Pay, a perfectly horrid vehicle for Corinne Griffith. It is stiff and stagey, poorly acted by all involved (especially the male lead), and preposterous. Griffith actually acts quite well in certain scenes, but not for the most part. She plays Hester, a woman who is board with her life and becomes the mistress of a big city magnate. She leaves her true love, Gerald, and when he goes blind in WWI, she realizes she loves him and decides to nurse him in his final days. Although remarkably short, (only about 50 minutes), the film drags on and one feels as if Gone With the Wind had played five times by the time its over. It is invaluable, however, as perhaps the best example of why some stars didn't make the transition to talking films. See it, you'll be happy you did just to get an idea of the times, but don't go out of your way.
Instead, see The Divine Lady, her best film, or The Garden of Eden, which has suddenly become easily available.
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