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Malcolm St. Clair
Johnny Mack Brown,
Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" racket. After plotting verious ways to get back at the men who set her up initially, she softens and settles down. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
This is one of Joan Crawford's best pre-code films. It is very hard to find, but worth the effort! Through her character's evolution, Joan is able to show off a wide variety of emotions, proving she did have good acting skill early in her career.
Typical of the early Talkies, most of the acting style is a bit theatrical, so viewers not used to watching early classics may feel it has a dated quality. But if that doesn't bother you, you will find that the story is riveting, the characters are colorful, and the performance by Crawford is fabulous.
Crawford's character, Mary Turner, is by far the most fascinating, and commands attention. We see her begin as a confused, frumpy simple girl unjustly imprisoned for a crime she didn't commit. Then we watch her grow into a hard-boiled, intelligent, sophisticated criminal, hellbent on revenge. She grew to become what she had been wrongly accused of. You can't help but pity her lost innocence and respect her determination, despite its criminal intent.
A must-see for anyone who loves pre-code film, gangster films, or Joan Crawford.
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