A German immigrant to a small American town is a barber with four children. He has saved enough money to invest in a savings-and-loan company with a friend. Unfortunately, one of his sons ...
See full summary »
Millionaire Turner, on his deathbed, leaves a million to Jane Barker. A movie addict who believes life is like the movies, marries Donn without telling him about the bequest. Turner gets ... See full summary »
Frederick De Cordova
Poster writes a gossip column for the Morning Gazette. He will write about anyone and everyone as long as he gets the credit. He gets most of his information from his gal, Peggy who is a ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
The efforts of test pilot John Mitchell to make a better life for his wife Mary and their two children seem doomed to failure and he blames himself. At the Conway Aero-Manufacturing Company... See full summary »
A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
A German immigrant to a small American town is a barber with four children. He has saved enough money to invest in a savings-and-loan company with a friend. Unfortunately, one of his sons has been stricken with tuberculosis, and the investment money goes to pay for the son's treatment in Arizona. Twenty years later, the wastrel son of the now-rich man who was to have been his partner, falls in love with the barber's daughter. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>, A. Nonymous
THE SINS OF THE CHILDREN cause their father grief, but he never stops loving them.
Despite its slightly lurid title, this film is all about love. Full of small moments beautifully played, it gives a portrait of an American family over a series of several years, held together through times of tribulation by a proud papa who adores his family unstintingly. This is a 'feel good film' in the best sense of the phrase and perfect to enjoy at the Christmas Holidays. It is a shame that this little gem has become so obscure.
As Adolf Wagenkampf, immigrant German barber, Louis Mann is nothing short of magnificent, giving one of the first great performances of the sound era. Showing enormous confidence in front of the camera, Mann steals the show with his mannerisms and accent, his pliable face registering every triumph or tragedy, every hope or defeat, which comes his way. Mann's beautiful soul is authentic, his talent undeniable. Unfortunately, this was to be virtually his only film. Louis Mann died in February of 1931, at the age of 65.
A very fine cast supports Mann throughout: Clara Blandick as his gentle wife; Francis X. Bushman Jr as the doctor son ashamed of his family name; Elliott Nugent as the inventor son, whose unwise impulse costs his father dearly; pretty Leila Hyams as the headstrong youngest daughter; and James Dolan as the obnoxious son-in-law.
(It was actor Nugent, playing the part of the youngest Wagenkampf son, who was largely responsible for both the original story and dialogue for the film. It's success is his, as well.)
In one of his earliest roles, Robert Montgomery scores as the local cad who compromises Hyams; Robert W. Wade is his heartless father, the richest man in Harristown. Henry Armetta is excellent as Tony, the exuberant and intensely loyal Italian barber who works for Mann. Mary Doran is the feisty new manicurist and Dell Henderson is the town's genial sheriff.
Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Jackie Searl playing Montgomery as a child.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?