A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop ... See full summary »
Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna ... 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>
Before writer Charles MacArthur was assigned to the project, he saw a preliminary script and protested to MGM studio head Irving Thalberg that the play "The Lullaby" was hopelessly old-fashioned and wouldn't be a good film debut for his wife, Helen Hayes. Thalberg heard him out and told him, "You don't like it - you're a writer. You fix it," and hired MacArthur to do the script. 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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The consummate Helen Hayes distinguishes this "fallen woman" film which would be only okay without her. The story resembles MADAME X, especially in the relationship between disgraced mother and clueless son. Starting as a farm girl in Normandy smitten with an American student (Neil Hamilton), Hayes progresses (or declines) to washerwoman, unwed mother, mistress to a wealthy crook (Lewis Stone), convict, high-class prostitute, streetwalker, aged derelict. She gets to play the spectrum of human emotions and vary her appearance from homely-wholesome to high glamour to harridan, from supreme confidence to abject humility. And she does it all with flying colors. Just as a study in good acting, this is worth a look. If anyone deserved an Oscar that year, it was she. And she got it.
The representations of prostitution are blatant, but no more so than in many other films of this period before the 1934 censorship clamp-down.
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