I happened to catch this film just today on Turner Classics, and expected to see Lionel Barrymore perform his usual job of overacting in this 1932 release. Surprisingly, I thought he was perfectly in character as a reformer elected to the U.S. Senate, finding himself entrapped in what still seems common today of becoming a captive of either ego or the compromising pressures of constantly needing funds for reelection. In this case, being a lonely widower, he was trapped by an ambitious and unfaithful woman who married him and then led him to resign his seat for monetary gain in order to keep her. In the end, he redeems himself before an investigative hearing by being brutally honest about his own failings and that of the system.
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