After spending fifteen years in an asylum, Hilary Fairfield escapes from the institution after regaining his sanity. He finds that things at home are different than when he left them. His wife has divorced him and is already planning her next marriage, and his daughter has grown up throughout the years and is planning to marry as well. Written by
Worth seeing for Katharine Hepburn. The film starts out in a provincially normal household, a mansion complete with servants, and aging auntie (sister of the patient) and a suitor (Canvanagh) for Hepburn.
The story is rather basic, Barrymore wishes to return after his long hospitalization. Of course, life has not stopped (except for him.) A tragic story in any sense, and well portrayed here, if not a bit melodramatic. Billie Burke delivers a dated and frilly performance as a woman re-marrying. For 1932 the topic of psychological disorders being addressed at all is to be commended.
My mother had always loved Barrymore, and he does have the obsessive qualities which would categorize a man who has been traumatized. Billie Burke as the rejecting wife who now wants to re-marry. The topic of mental illness and post traumatic stress is still rarely covered in any semblance of realism, so this film is noteworthy on this issue alone. 8/10.
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