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 »
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>
Easy to See Why Griffith's Sound Career Never Took Off
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.
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