This is a flawed, but fascinating adaptation of the short story with a complete about-face in characterization by Farrell and Gaynor. They handle the sometimes silly dialogue and abrupt transitions in character with grace, which makes the sometimes-unbelievable narrative of the story seem more realistic. Kudos to them for playing against type and doing it so well. The scene in the opium den is particularly affecting--watch it without sound and you can see their old silent chemistry at work.
The direction by Raoul Walsh is jumpy and overly talky, not surprising for 1931.
Not my favorite Farrell/Gaynor but a fascinating film to watch.
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