Jack lives the high life and wants to make Marjorie his one and only. He then learns that his deceased father is alive but dying of lead poisoning. His father sent him away, twenty years ... See full summary »
Jack lives the high life and wants to make Marjorie his one and only. He then learns that his deceased father is alive but dying of lead poisoning. His father sent him away, twenty years before, to keep him out of the rackets. But now that he is dying, he wants to split the business between Giacomo (Jack) and Frank, his other son. The business includes running booze down from Canada. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This and many other early talking pictures (especially "Downstairs") disprove that the notion that John Gilbert's career in films was cut short because he could not translate well from silents. Too many times I have heard that his voice was poor and this led to his MGM contract being dropped. However, once again, Gilbert turns in a very good performance in "Gentleman's Fate"--and his voice, though not booming, was quite nice.
The film begins with Gilbert playing the life of a spoiled playboy. Apparently his father died when Gilbert was a child but he left his kid with an ample inheritance. However, out of the blue, Gilbert learns that his father is NOT dead but is dying. So, Gilbert rushes to see him and learns that his father is a mobster--and his fortune came from bootlegging. After his dad really dies, Gilbert's brother (who he just met--played by Louis Wolheim) tells him that he is more than welcome to continue receiving his allowance and he should return to his old playboy life. However, rather inexplicably, Gilbert insists he wants to go into the family business. Not surprisingly, this ultimately leads to disaster--just like the way all gangster films of the age ended (such as in "Little Caesar", "Scarface" and "The Public Enemy").
While not a great film, "Gentleman's Fate" is quite entertaining. And, while Gilbert is good, I think the best performance is from Louis Wolheim. Sadly, Wolheim died only a few months later--like Gilbert a star who died way too young. And, while I am talking about Wolheim, he was very good BUT casting him as Gilbert's brother was odd. Gilbert, for want of a better word, was a pretty man. Wolheim, however, was one of the ugliest men in Hollywood and his face and build were the opposite of Gilbert. Odd....but considering the fine acting, I could suspend disbelief on this one.
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