11 user 1 critic

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 »




(based on the story by), (screen version)
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of the romance between Emma, Lady Hamilton, and British war hero Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Corinne Griffith, Victor Varconi, H.B. Warner
Back Pay (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Hester Bevins is a simple country girl who yearns for adventure. Though she has a handsome young man, Jerry, who is devoted to her, she leaves her village and goes to New York in search of ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Seena Owen, Matt Moore, J. Barney Sherry
Prisoners (1929)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Corinne Griffith, Ian Keith, Otto Matieson
    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:
Al Bloom
Vivien Oakland ...
Kitty (as Vivian Oakland)
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?


In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. 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 »


America, My Country Tis of Thee
(1832) (uncredited)
Music by Lowell Mason, based on the Music by Henry Carey from "God Save the King" (1744)
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith (1832)
Played by a band with the marching soldiers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Easy to See Why Griffith's Sound Career Never Took Off
11 December 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Back Pay (1930)

** (out of 4)

Watching this early talkie makes it easy to understand why Corinne Griffith's sound career really didn't take off. This here would turn out to be her next to last film (before making one more nearly three decades later) and with material like this it's no wonder she stepped aside. In the film she plays Hester Bevins, a small town girl who is loved by Gerald (Grant Withers) but she turns down his proposal because he'll never make much money. Hester runs off to New York City where she gets involved with various rich men but when Gerald goes off to war everything changes. BACK PAY is a really, really bad film on many levels but I must admit that it kept me totally entertained because you never really knew where it was going to go. I should say that the film is 100% predictable so in that way it's not hard to see where it's going. What's so strange is that the film just goes off in various directions and some that you won't see coming. Just check out the first minute when the film starts off with Griffith singing a really bad song and this here tells you things are going to get crazy. The story itself is pretty predictable but it's also hard to figure out. It seems like stuff just happens for no reason at all including Gerald going off to the war, which has apparently been going on for a while yet it's never mentioned in the film until his broken heart goes. The ending, which is meant to be powerful, is so poorly done that it actually had me laughing harder than most of the comedies I've seen from this period. Griffith actually isn't too bad in her role but the screenplay simply gives her nothing to do. Withers, on the other hand, isn't suited for the role here and comes off pretty bad at times. BACK PAY is a film that most people are truly going to hate but I think fans of Griffith will want to check it out as well as those who enjoy bad movies. I will say that the 56-minute running time flew by, which I'm very thankful for.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the little movie with the big heart ksf-2
Discuss Back Pay (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: