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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 <email@example.com>
John Ford's drama about an ex-con named Laura (Karen Morley) who gets released from prison with nothing and after stealing some food it appears she's going back until Polakai (Wallace Beery), a German wrestler, comes to her aid and soon takes her in. It doesn't take long for Polakai to fall in love but what he doesn't know is that Laura has a partner (Ricardo Cortez) in prison who is about to cause trouble. FLESH isn't the greatest film in Ford's career but I found it to be one of those unique ones that really doesn't get enough credit or any credit at all. It seems that all great directors like Ford, Hitchcock or Bergman have films that are special but they get overlooked because they don't quite measure up to the masterpieces. I think that's where FLESH falls in because while it's no where near the masterpiece of THE SEARCHERS, it's still a pretty unique movie on a number of levels. The best thing going for the picture is Beery who easily steals things. You'd think Beery playing a wrestler wouldn't be that much of a stretch but the actor brings so much to the role that you can't help but be impressed with him and fall for the character. Playing dimwitted is never easy and most actors fail but Beery perfectly nails it. Even better is the way he brings across this certainly level of feeling and emotion for everything that happens in the story. Morley is also extremely good in her part as she makes you believe everything you're watching. The chemistry between the two leads is quite remarkable. Cortez is also good in his supporting bit as is Jean Hersholt. The one problem is FLESH is that it's a tad bit too predictable and has one too many clichés but the performances and the look and tone Ford delivers makes it worth seeing.
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