6.9/10
445
10 user 2 critic

Way Back Home (1931)

Passed | | Drama | 13 November 1931 (USA)
Seth Parker takes in Robbie Turner and protects him from his cruel father Rube. When the father disappears, Seth intends to raise Robbie as his own son. The vindictive father attacks Mary ... See full summary »

Director:

(as William Seiter)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Phillips Lord ...
Seth Parker (as Phillips H. Lord)
Effie Palmer ...
Mother Parker (as Effie L. Palmer)
...
David Clark
...
Mary Lucy
...
Robbie
Dorothy Peterson ...
Rose Clark
Stanley Fields ...
Rufe Turner
Oscar Apfel ...
Wobbling Duffy
Sophia M. Lord ...
Lizzie
Bennett Kilpack ...
Cephus
Raymond Hunter ...
Captain Bang
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Storyline

Seth Parker takes in Robbie Turner and protects him from his cruel father Rube. When the father disappears, Seth intends to raise Robbie as his own son. The vindictive father attacks Mary Lucy, a neighbor's daughter who is also trying to help Robbie. Mary's boyfriend David rescues her and Rube runs off with his son. But not for long. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Other People's Business  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phillips Lord and his character name "Seth Parker" appear above the title. They were familiar to 1931 audiences from the radio program on which the film is based. Some RKO executives, however, expressed concern that the radio program appealed only to older folks and that people 15 to 30 years old, do not listen to the program and would not go to see the movie. See more »

Quotes

Lizzie: Been wanting a good excuse to give a party ever since the Jersey cow started giving such good whipping cream!
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Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(1848) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Makes A Good Case for a Return to "Silent" Films
5 May 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Rebecca: This is so bad it's almost good.

Enid: This is so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again.

If 1932's "Way Back Home" had been made a couple years earlier, it might have caused Hollywood to abandon "talkies" and return to making silent films. Fortunately, by 1932 enough talking pictures had already been made for everyone to realize that sound was not necessarily a device of audience torture. This is a borderline musical, with some of the worst singing you will hear this side of my shower. By the last number you will be envious of those with a serious hearing loss.

Most of the viewers who stumble across this film are Bette Davis fans seeking out some of her early performances. Davis has a supporting role as the female half of the film's romantic interest. She is paired with Frank Albertson who plays a farm laborer whose mother is an outcast and whose father is a bachelor. She looks beautiful and fresh but nothing about portraying the character is challenging. It is arguably the worst early film in which she appeared.

It is based on an early radio character named Seth Parker, played by Phillips Lord in the film, whose family are simple country folks. Sort of Ma and Pa Kettle without any comedy. The principle subject of the film is Seth's unofficially adopted son Robbie, after ten years Robbie's biological father Rufus Turner is back to claim him.

The theme is that a community can rise above its prejudices regarding illegitimacy and genetic parentage if it has a good example to follow. Because everyone is a caricature and the acting is so uneven this worthwhile theme is turned into a sappy and silly embarrassment.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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