I first saw this movie more than 25 years ago when it was shown as a late night movie in one of the TV stations in the Philippines. I was so moved by this film. I couldn't choke my tears during the scene when James Dunn found out about the sufferings of his mother, and how he avenged it. I was rooting throughout. Because the film was shown at a very late hour (into the wee hours of the morning), I saw it alone. The channel always had the sense to show these classic movies during those times and I was fortunate to have sat through many of those screenings because it only made me appreciate the classics more.
The following day, I was still overwhelmed by the film that I couldn't help sharing it with my mom who was an avid movie fan herself. I said it was wonderful, and a great tearjerker, and it was really old and in black and white. And it will be reshown at 1pm that afternoon as a filler in that channel.
So there it was for the second time time I watched the movie all over again, this time with my mom and two of my sisters. I didn't cry again through the heartwrenching scenes...but I smiled triumphantly as I saw from the corner of my eyes as my mom and my sisters subtly wipe away the tears on their eyes during those scenes. They sat through the whole movie. No comments..just deep sighs..and muffled sniffs...and I knew...I just knew...this film is a true classic.
Over the years, I never forgot about this film. It was a defining moment. It's fascinating how a movie made in 1931, black and white, fast moving almost like the silents, a setting and set of characters I can't identify with, spoken in a language different from my native tongue, can move me as much as it did.
I can't rate this film any less than 10. Afterall, rating is a personal thing. I just love this film.
September 5, 2007 - I was very pleased to see "egalitari"s post. What a small world indeed. You must love classic movies too. Thanks for your comments.
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