The life of Sadie McKee takes many twists and turns. She starts as the daughter of the cook for the well off Alderson family. Lawyer Michael Alderson likes Sadie but she runs off to New ... See full summary »
Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »
Domineering Harriet Craig holds more regard for her home and its possessions than she does for any person in her life. Among those she treats like household objects are her kind husband ... See full summary »
A dazed woman walks the streets of Los Angeles looking for a man named David. After collapsing in a diner, she's taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. Flashbacks reveal her ... See full summary »
Susan Trexel is a wealthy socialite, who while vacationing in Europe undergoes a religious transformation. On her return to America, Susan takes on the task of spreading her new found ... See full summary »
For residents on the idyllic South Seas island of Pago Pago, life is simple until a boat arrives carrying two couples, the Davidsons (who are missionaries), the MacPhails and a prostitute named Sadie Thompson. Davidson is more than just a religious zealot; he's a mad man. When the boat, which was en route to another port, is temporarily stranded on the island due to a possible Cholera outbreak on-board, Sadie spends her time "partying" with the American soldiers stationed on the island. Her behavior, however, is more than the Davidsons can stand and soon Mr. Davidson confronts Sadie about her evil ways and offers salvation. When Sadie rebels and the attempted redemption does not go as planned, Davidson arranges to have her sent back to San Francisco, where she fled some years ago due to mysterious personal issues. Davidson soon becomes unhinged and thus begins a series of surprising events which culminate in disaster. Written by
Costumer Milo Anderson bought Crawford's checkered dress at a department store, and later recalled that the dress required extensive alteration, being far too large for Crawford everywhere except in the shoulders. Still new to the business, Anderson did not realize that multiple copies would be needed of a costume worn so extensively throughout the film. When it came time for a second copy, Anderson discovered that the dress had sold out and was now not available anywhere. Nor could the checkered fabric be located. Since the dress had already been seen in numerous scenes, the only solution was to have the design laboriously painted onto cloth and then have the dress duplicated. The dress had originally been store-bought to save money--and ultimately, with all the work, it added considerably to the film's budget. See more »
Camera's shadow falls across the backs of the missionaries as they sit around the table in the general store. See more »
[complaining about the dancers]
Mr. Horn, is this sort of thing general in your store?
Well, it's a general store, maam.
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Unlike most people, I like both this movie and Crawford's performance, though the sudden and complete change to and from her religion-inspired catatonic state is a bit too rash and unconvincing (not due only to her acting: the film is so constructed). Huston plays a very sinister character. His brainwash on Sadie Thompson is appalling, and the scene when she succumbs while he recites the Lord's Prayer is most disturbing. Milestone's dynamic camera work is indeed overdone, but it is clear that it was a somewhat naïve attempt to counteract the tendency to sluggishness of the early talkies (compare with 'Anna Christie' with Garbo, for instance). The director gives the rain an important role as a powerful surrounding element of nature, almost trying to treat it as a living character, much like what Sjostrom did in 'The Wind'(1929); it doesn't entirely come through, but it was a worthy effort. The quick editing on Crawford's entrance (repeated in the end) is also impressive.
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