Level headed Mike Miller runs Desert Airport, an air mail base full of daring young pilots risking their lives to get the mail through-regardless of the weather. Following the death of one ... See full summary »
Jenny Wren coerces banker Priam Andes to have a dinner party at his shorefront estate Crestwood, and instructs him to invite three other men, each of whom she plans to extort money from. ... See full summary »
It's school graduate, Jeff Flavin's, first day on the job as a cub reporter for the Enquirer. Boss, Archer, places Jeff with Stu Woodrow a lazying reporter. Stu detests cubs, treating Jeff ... See full summary »
Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal.... See full summary »
Bank clerk William Marble is desperate for money to pay his family's bills. When his wealthy nephew visits, Marble asks him for a loan, but the young man refuses. Marble decides to kill his... See full summary »
When Captain Howland decides that his daughter Tess is getting a bit to old to continue to go to sea with him, they move into a small cottage on the coast of Maine, but not for long. A ... See full summary »
Impoverished Jane Miller is loved by millionaire Roger and newspaperman William. Though William warns her otherwise, she goes with the millionaire to his French chateau where she risks ... See full summary »
Raoul Walsh tackles Bret Harte in this one. It's a natural for this usually muscular director with a vicious sense of humor; he was fond of repeating Jack Pickford's comment that his idea of light comedy was to burn down a whorehouse.
Although he has fallen out of favor, Harte and Mark Twain were judged neck-and-neck for the two best writers to come out of the Old West. Harte's characters were not one-dimensional; he approached them as complex human beings with conflicting sets of emotions and self-justifications. As a result, this movie, derived from "Salomy Jane's Kiss" has a lot going for it. Add in the outdoor shooting among the redwoods around Mount Shasta and the lovely conceit of using frame wipes that freeze the frame and then make it look like a page being turned, and you have a beautiful motion picture.
Unhappily, few of the performances are up to the visuals. Perhaps it was due to the fact that handling of sound outdoors was still pretty primitive and some of the performers are either unseasoned for the screen or still not out of the silent era and the line readings sound very stagey. Whatever the reasons, they act best when they are doing things, not saying things -- the hanging sequence is devastating.
Even with that cavil, this is a wonderful picture. Everyone looks right and Joan Bennett is stunningly beautiful. If you get a chance to see it -- mine came with the 2012 Museum of Modern Art 'To Preserve and Project' festival -- take it.
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