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Laura Nash is an ex-con who is befriended by Polakai, a waiter who is also a wrestler. Even though Polakai is kind to her, she pines for Nick, her old partner in crime. When she gets Nick out of jail, she tells him that she is pregnant and he leaves for America. Laura then marries Polakai, who adores her, and he becomes the wrestling champion of Germany. Laura makes Polakai move to America where she finds Nick and he becomes his manager. Polakai wants to wrestle fairly, but Nick and Joe are both crooked and are only in it for the money. Polakai does not know that Laura still desires Nick. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's sometimes hard to find John Ford's touch here.This is a pure melodrama that recalls Stahl's works:the German side is also present in "back street" released the same year.The characters are close to Marcel Pagnol's ones (see" Angèle"(1934),"la fille du puisatier"(1941))It does not matter if the action takes place in Germany ,in NYC or in Provence:unmarried mothers abound in Pagnol's movies.Wallace Beery's character reminds me of Fernandel's parts:both are good guys,naive with a very strong heart.
Actually ,Ford's touch can be felt when it gets to wrestling scenes.We find back his great moral stature ,his values,when Beery shows his dislike for the "I tell you when you win and I tell you when you lose" thing.This might have influenced other directors for better (the set- up,Robert Wise,1949)or for worse(Rocky,Alvidsen,1977).
Wallace Beery is undeniably the stand-out,but the supporting cast is excellent.It's strange how the drinks work on a man!When Wallace sticks with beer (good for wrestling?)everything works out fine,but when he switches to whiskey (evil drink?),it's the beginning of the end.How many 2001 movies will be still watchable in 2070?This one deserves to be seen.
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