Selina lived well until her father Simeon died. Her aunts sold the estate and put her in a boarding school. As an adult she wants to be a teacher in farming country. She falls in love with ...
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Alfred E. Green
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Selina lived well until her father Simeon died. Her aunts sold the estate and put her in a boarding school. As an adult she wants to be a teacher in farming country. She falls in love with and marries Pervus, a Dutch farmer she has been tutoring. When he dies her hopes lie with their son Dirk, who disappoints her by giving up architecture for stock brokerage. Her new hope is Roelfe, the son of her former boardinghouse keeper and a sculptor. Dirk falls in love with Dallas O'Mara, whom Selina hopes will be the inspiration for her son's salvation. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
I didn't read Edna Ferber's novel so I can't tell if it or the movie is better. But I can't imagine the book didn't live up to the author's reputation - the film certainly doesn't. As presented here, "So Big" is a run-of-the-mill story of the tedium of rural life during the depression, saved only by the luminous presence of Barbara Stanwyck. Although a Warner Bros. production, they didn't surround her with a distinguished cast or any noteworthy production values, as though her starpower would carry the picture all by itself.
Well, she nearly pulls it off. She is pretty close to the suffering queen bee role she played in "Stella Dallas" a few years later, but here she races through adolescence, marriage, motherhood and then widowhood at breakneck speed in a picture which must have been edited to death. The pace of the picture makes it impossible for the viewer to adapt to Stanwyck's circumstances before changing them radically. She becomes a mother, then in almost the next scene 'So Big' is an adult - and Stanwyck is saddled with Hardie Albright, one of Hollywood's most uncharismatic actors.
Since this is 1932 we get to see young starlet Bette Davis, and George Brent minus mustache, in support roles. I could have rated this under-produced slog through the underbrush lower than I did, but for the sheer radiance of the star that was Barbara Stanwyck.
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