A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »
French country girl Madelon falls for artist Larry, who leaves her after she becomes pregnant. She finds help from jewel thief Carlo, but he commits suicide when the police try to arrest him. Madelon is arrested and receives a ten year term in prison for assisting him in his profession. To support her son, who does not know that she's been in prison, she becomes a street walker, allowing him to attend medical school. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
According to Anthony Holden's book "Behind the Oscar" (1993), M.G.M. production chief Irving Thalberg, when pondering a soap-opera-ish script, gave it the green light with the immortal words, "Let's face it. We win Academy Awards with crap like 'Madelon Claudet.'" See more »
Sit here my dear. Oh wait, I want to get this cushion... it brings out all the blue that's sleeping in your eyes.
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Which do you talk about first? The saccharine, weepy tale of a mother's sacrifice? Or Helen Hayes' superb performance despite the claptrap about a woman who enables the son she gave away to become a great doctor? I'll go with Hayes. As Madelon, she goes from the naively adoring bride of a bounder to the mistress of a criminal nobleman to a fallen woman of the streets to a pathetic bag lady,each phase of her life revealing fresh nuances. No question she deserved the Oscar she won, if only for making the melodrama make sense and coping with direction that was clumsy even for 1932. Worth watching to see an amazingly gifted actress in her prime.
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