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Willi, a brash young lieutenant in the Austrian Imperial Guard, bent on an evening of pleasure, visits a house of ill repute and gambling parlor. He meets Laura, a sweet innocent girl and spends the night with her, leaving her money in the morning. Devastated with the realization Willi found her a mere convenience, Laura becomes the mistress of Herr Schnabel, an unpleasant but wealthy gentleman. Never quite getting over Laura, Willi is goaded by her into gambling with Schnabel and losing more money to him than he can possibly repay. Laura is unaware that Willi must either pay his debt by the next day or take the only other honorable way out - committing suicide. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Austrian lieutenant Ramon Novarro (as Willi Kasder) falls in love with lower class piano teacher Helen Chandler (as Laura Taub), after treating her as a girl for hire. The amusing scenes between Novarro and dresser Clyde Cook (as Josef) illustrate at least two meanings for the word "gay". Very nicely directed by Jacques Feyder, "Daybreak" was the first of two welcome collaborations with Novarro. Unfortunately, the studio kept ordering the team to lighten up the production. Novarro is good at the humor, but it just doesn't compliment the story being told and puts his characterization off balance. Considering their manipulations, it was a good thing MGM shelved the film's original ending.
***** Daybreak (5/2/31) Jacques Feyder ~ Ramon Novarro, Helen Chandler, Jean Hersholt, C. Aubrey Smith
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