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A terrific film. At times it is even a beautiful film, with touches of special effects (slo-mo, and super-impositions) towards the end. The "natural" quality of Una Merkel shines above her casting as the maid, and brings a real human touch to a film about infidelity, jail and murder. She holds it's "B" plot together and adds real warmth and charm, especially in the scenes with the children. (The boy is none other than Spanky McFarland!)
There are scenes where the younger child, around 1 year old, is really fidgeting and squirming. Miss Merkel uses the interruption and pushes forward in the scene in the most natural way. Purely charming. Check out her credits, she did a staggering amount of work in the 30's and should get more recognition.
Director Charles Brabin shines in this unusually inventive film, (especially for the year 1933, when most other films were all sound stage stiff pot-boilers). This little gem has many location shots, (including a very realistic rooftop fight scene high above downtown Los Angeles) and features a broad range of emotion from subtle comedy to raw violence.
Check it out, you won't be sorry.
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