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Norman Z. McLeod
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Theodore Dreiser, upon whose 1911 novel the movie is based, was so pleased with the adaptation after seeing a preview that he sent a telegram to Paramount boss B.P. Schulberg, saying, "Jennie moving improvisation upon my theme, excellently cast, beautifully interpreted." See more »
Fast-paced film based on a novel by Theodore Dreiser, story centers on Jennie Gerhardt (Sylvia Sidney), a poor girl who gets a job scrubbing floors in a hotel. She catches the eye of a middle-aged senator (Edward Arnold) and become his lover. Tragedy intervenes and changes the course of her life.
After she moves to Cincinnati, she gets a job as a maid in a wealthy household and catches the eye of the maverick son (Donald Cook) but the family opposes his marrying a common maid. They set up housekeeping and are happy despite the secret Jennie hides from him.
When he eventually learns the truth, he bolts and marries another woman (Mary Astor)but they are never happy. Jennie continues her life until another tragedy occurs and she is reunited with her true love but it's too late for happiness.
Sidney, Cook, Astor, and Arnold are all terrific here, and the supporting cast is also very good: H.B. Warner and Louise Carter as Jennie's parents, Greta Meyer as the cousin, Walter Walker as the tycoon, and Dorothy Libaire as the acid sister.
Sylvia Sidney is stunningly beautiful in this film. Hard to find but well worth the search.
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