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Arthur von Gerlach
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 <email@example.com>
In the one time they worked together director John Ford went to MGM where he directed Wallace Beery playing a German wrestler in Flesh. It's a strange project for Ford who does like to portray innocent people, but naive ones are a bit out of his league.
As they are for Wallace Beery. Flesh asks an awful lot from its viewers to believe someone like Beery's character Polokai could be that ignorant of the facts of life. Just where does he think babies come from?
The film opens in Germany where Beery has a day job as a waiter, but also works at becoming a champion wrestler. Down on her luck Karen Morley, an American Sally Bowes like woman, gets taken in by the kind hearted Beery. Her man Ricardo Cortez is in jail and she gets Beery to spring him. But Cortez takes a powder and leaves the pregnant Morley. Again Beery springs to the rescue and he even swallows without question her story of the baby.
Later on Beery and Morley are in America for wrestling matches and with her urging he signs with Cortez as his manager with crooked promoter John Miljan. After that things start to penetrate that naive skull Beery has.
Morley is fine as a girl who is sadder and wiser, but still has needs and Cortez is as smooth and slimy a villain we've ever seen on the screen. But try as I might I just could not buy the character Wallace Beery was playing. I don't think anyone with half a brain could.
This was a strange project for John Ford, he never did another film like Flesh and probably with good reason on his part.
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