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The Struggle (1931)

 -  Drama  -  10 December 1931 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 167 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 10 critic

A young couple's marriage is jeopardized by the husband's descent into alcoholism.

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Title: The Struggle (1931)

The Struggle (1931) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Hal Skelly ...
Jimmie Wilson
Zita Johann ...
Florrie
Charlotte Wynters ...
Nina
Evelyn Baldwin ...
Nan Wilson
Jackson Halliday ...
Johnnie Marshall
Edna Hagan ...
Mary
Claude Cooper ...
Sam
Arthur Lipson ...
Cohen
Charles Richman ...
Mr. Craig
Helen Mack ...
A Catty Girl
Scott Moore ...
A Gigolo
Dave Manley ...
A Mill Worker
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Storyline

A young couple's marriage is jeopardized by the husband's descent into alcoholism.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

10 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Borba  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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This was the final feature-length film directed by D.W. Griffith. See more »

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User Reviews

Griffith's Final
26 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Struggle, The (1931)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

D.W. Griffith's final movie received terrible reviews upon release and died a very painful death at the box office so needless to say, this was the final nail in Griffith's directing coffin. In the film, a man (Hal Skelly) agrees to stop drinking after the woman (Zita Johann) of his dreams agrees to marry him. This deal works for about seven years but then the man hits the bottle again and soon has his life spinning out of control. As you can see, The Lost Weekend certainly wasn't the first film to take a hard look at alcoholism and even Griffith made several shots about the subject. It's easy to see why this film bombed back in the day but the story plays somewhat better today. However, like many of Griffith's later films, there are signs of brilliance in a few scenes but overall the film just doesn't really work. The worst thing about the movie is that it looks and feels like something Griffith would have made in 1910. Had Griffith changed with the times then there's no telling what he could have done but he was never able to do this. Another problem is that the start of the film is pretty dull and the energy Griffith can provide doesn't show up until the final third of the film. With that said, there's still a lot to enjoy here but the best thing is the performance by Skelly. He goes through various changes throughout the movie from a fun drunk to a non-drinker to a raging alcoholic and he pulls off every step without a hitch. Griffith himself has several scenes that really hit home and pack nice punches ala his early days. One is a party sequence where the husband returns drunk. The way Griffith shows the wife's embarrassment is very hard hitting. Another great sequence is when the husband finally hits rock bottom. The use of lighting and the director's touch makes this a very emotionally devastating scene. Another nice touch is an early scene that takes place in 1911. In the film a group of drinkers are talking about movies and brings up Biograph and Mary Pickford. It seems that even after twenty years Griffith was still mad at Pickford.


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