32 movies were copyrighted by World Wide Pictures, Inc., between 1929 and 1933 (when World Wide presumably went out of business thanks to the stock market crash). This one, a Quadruple Film presented by Tiffany Productions is undoubtedly the best. For a starter, it features a very able cast led by Conrad Nagel. Normally a somewhat stiff performer, Nagel is surprisingly fluid here, managing the transition from drunk beach bum to Harley Street professional with remarkable dexterity. John Halliday is also most effective as the vengeful millionaire who loves to run people's lives. But then Halliday is almost always a screen presence to reckon with. Gordon St. Claire, however, is probably his best role ever, as it gives him a chance to be both charming and vindictive as well as charismatic. As usual, the beautiful Doris Kenyon (as Halliday's victim) is thoroughly convincing. And it's a double pleasure to see Alan Mowbray and Reginald Owen in important roles. But, in addition to its great acting and its compelling screenplay, The Man Called Back is very stylishly and inventively directed by Robert Florey, who manages the plot's various mood transitions with astonishing skill. Florey also collaborated with Robert Presnell on the screenplay (although Presnell alone is credited on the movie's copyright entry). Henry Sharp's consistently moody photography also deserves high commendation. Available on an excellent Alpha DVD.
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