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Salvation Nell (1931)

Young Nell loses her job and home and her father is sent to prison. She joins the Salvation Army and tries to redeem him when he comes out bent on continuing his life of crime.



(play) (as E.B. Sheldon),


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Complete credited cast:
Ralph Graves ...
Helen Chandler ...
Sally O'Neil ...
Major Williams (as Jason Robards)
DeWitt Jennings ...
Charlotte Walker ...
Matthew Betz ...
Rose Dione ...
Madame Cloquette
Wally Albright ...


Young Nell loses her job and home and her father is sent to prison. She joins the Salvation Army and tries to redeem him when he comes out bent on continuing his life of crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lost film | based on play | See All (2) »







Release Date:

1 July 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Divine Love  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was believed lost but a copy was found and shown at the 2001 Cinesation conference See more »


Version of Salvation Nell (1915) See more »

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User Reviews

Solid Gold Salvation Nell
27 February 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

How perfect was the casting of misty Helen Chandler in the title role? I consider myself fortunate to have seen this rare picture, one of the better Tiffany productions, at the Bay City/Saginaw event recently, and I can tell you the audience found it beautifully made and sensitively acted. It is the third (and final!!) version of an old, old play by Edward B. Sheldon, filmed in 1915, and again in 1921 with Pauline Starke as Nell. They altered the above plot description for this early talkie version, with Nell still joining the Salvation Army, but in order that she may raise her young son while the man she loves serves time. The fact that there are no easy solutions here, and that this Nell becomes a powerful force to reckon with warrant a revival and restoration. Like they said about Lillian Gish, Helen Chandler appears to be a delicate flower of a beauty, who was strung together with steel wires, and her performance is delicate as well, a delicately layered, richly textured turn to witness. Ralph Graves makes a heavy-handed object of her adoration, but at least he is so handsome you can sort of comprehend Nell's pitiful obsession. Two actresses surprise and delight as well - the rarely seen Charlotte Walker (mother of character actress Sara Haden!) as Maggie, the seasoned Salvation Army pro, and a marvelous, thoroughly captivating performance by often-maligned Sally O'Neil as the randy, reliable, and outspoken Myrtle (the prostitute!). Early talkies like ON WITH THE SHOW may have caught her unprepared, perhaps, but by the time SALVATION NELL was made, she had certainly found her acting chops. Director James Cruze deserves to have it placed alongside his famous silent achievements, for time has not diminished, but merely kept hidden, this picture. The best thing about this film is that it is not a bowl of ancient, out- dated mush. On the contrary, it is a powerful accounting of women making choices in a tough time, and certainly a product much in demand for today's troubled world.

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