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Virginia Sale Rides Again!

3/10
Author: JohnHowardReid
9 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Iron Master is a slow-moving Poverty Row bore that vainly attempts to generate some interest by filming in an actual iron foundry and with equal lack of success stages a cliff-hanger climax entirely with a far-too-obvious process screen. It's true that the Hoffmans (father and son) did try to make something of this "B". They hired Chester M. Franklin (the brother of Sidney Franklin, Ches went on to direct his most famous film, Sequoia, the following year) and Reginald Denny (the super-popular silent star who, at this stage, was making a brave effort to recapture his fans by shedding his British accent and speaking a rough-and-ready American) and Lila Lee (another huge star of the silents, Lee simply never managed to re-invent her image for sound). It says much for the way the producers actually regarded the appeal of their fading stars that they handed the action climax not to Lee or Denny but to that perennial bit player and character actress, Virginia Sale.

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Our modern family, a soap opera about greed.

7/10
Author: mark.waltz from United States
29 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The depression was no time for wealthy families to quibble about how the family purse strings were run, and in the case of rough Reginald Denny, it couldn't be in better hands. This surrounds patriarch J. Farrell MacDonald's decision to leave his iron company to his loyal foreman, played by Denny. Daughter Lila Lee, brother William Janney and flighty, vain mother Esther Howard are all aghast, especially Lee who has secretly fallen in love with him in spite of her own snootiness. The family takes great glee in plotting Denny's downfall, but they don't count on Lee, a long time loyal secretary and a loving grandson to step in at the last minute. It's all for the good of mending this rather morally bankrupt family and exposing their hypocrisy. Denny gets to play against type while Lee is an appealing heroine. They are surrounded by a fine cast. A mixture of theatrical drama and humorous situations makes this an appealing B drama where moral lessons show the hypocrisy in society, especially that complies unit called the American family.

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