IMDb > A Free Soul (1931)
A Free Soul
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A Free Soul (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   1,297 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Adela Rogers St. Johns (from the book by)
John Meehan (dialogue continuity by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Free Soul on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 June 1931 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
She wasn't a divorcee but she believed that strangers could kiss! See more »
Plot:
An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Big Speech See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Norma Shearer ... Jan Ashe

Leslie Howard ... Dwight Winthrop

Lionel Barrymore ... Stephen Ashe

Clark Gable ... Ace Wilfong

James Gleason ... Eddie
Lucy Beaumont ... Grandma Ashe
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roscoe Ates ... Man Shot at in Men's Room (uncredited)
Ann Brody ... Hamburger Saleslady (uncredited)
Edward Brophy ... Slouch (uncredited)
James Donlan ... Reporter (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Birthday Party Guest (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Skid Row Drunk (uncredited)
Henry Hall ... Detective in Raid (uncredited)

George Irving ... Johnson - Defense Attorney (uncredited)
Edward LeSaint ... Judge (uncredited)
Sam McDaniel ... Casino Valet (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Frank Sheridan ... Prosecuting Attorney (uncredited)
Phillips Smalley ... Birthday Party Guest (uncredited)
William Stack ... Dick Roland (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... Ed - Casino Official (uncredited)
Carl Stockdale ... Drug Store Proprietor (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... One of Ace's Gang (uncredited)
E. Alyn Warren ... Bottomley - Ace's Chinese Butler (uncredited)
Claire Whitney ... Aunt Helen (uncredited)

Directed by
Clarence Brown 
 
Writing credits
Adela Rogers St. Johns (from the book by)

John Meehan (dialogue continuity by)

Becky Gardiner (adaptation by)

Willard Mack  play (uncredited)

Produced by
Clarence Brown .... producer (uncredited)
Irving Thalberg .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (photographed by) (as William Daniels)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns by)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Dorian .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Anstruther MacDonald .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Milton Brown .... still photographer (uncredited)
A. Lindsley Lane .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Nelson McEdwards .... assistant camera (uncredited)
William Riley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Hugh Wynn .... film editor
 
Music Department
William Axt .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Howard Dietz .... press representative (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
93 min (Turner library print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | USA:TV-PG | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film ranked as ninth best picture in 1935 by the annual Film Daily poll of critics.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the emotional scene when Shearer promises to give up Gable, Barrymore's hair changes between close-ups and medium shots.See more »
Quotes:
[after Ace and Jan are shot at, he takes her to his hideaway]
Ace Wilfong, Gangster Defendant:Slouch, tell her why the Hardy mob tried to fix me up. Tell her the facts, Slouch.
Slouch:Well, the mug that was rubbed out, Miss, was a snooper of the chief's running with the Hardy mob, slipping us the lowdown. Hardy gets hep to it and he puts the rat on the spot. They nab the boss's "kelly" and plants it. Your old man jaws him out and the Hardy mob grabs the typewriters and the ukeleles.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
By the River Sainte MarieSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
The Big Speech, 10 October 2006
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

Some movies are theatrical in the sense that all their values and methods are derived from stage values. This is one.

Some movies are in that sweet spot after talkies got going and before the code was enforced, so they have a vitality that is lacking for a few decades afterwards.

This fits those two overlapping pockets and is a fine example of theatrical acting. The story is simple: a woman from a "fine" family spends time with a gangster for exciting sex. She has an unnatural bond with her "mountebank" father, a drunken lawyer both of which characteristics give him an excuse to be broad in his acting style.

The father forbids the affair and dramatic complications arise. Its an excuse for speechifying, which is done fabulously so long as you understand the tradition. Barrymore is perhaps the last great speechifier in this tradition, though Olivier would hang on for much longer and be celebrated out of nostalgia.

There's an interesting fold in this. The audience has a surrogate on screen, in the jury. Courtroom movies have since this grown into a solid tradition. As the case is made to the jury, it is made to us. This is special because was an early edition of that model, say before Mockingbird and Christie. Because of that, the speechifying to us/jury is fresher, more direct, less burdened with mature movieness.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

Was the above review useful to you?
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