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Depression Era story set in London has department store owner (Lewis Stone) facing bankruptcy while his family fritters away money. A long-standing employee (Lionel Barrymore) gets fired but finds new life in a home-based bakery. The owner's wife (Benita Hume) can't face life without money, so she runs off with another man. The tables turn, however, when a last-minute reprieve saves the store and a new relationship is forged between the men. Written by
The story is hackneyed, but the acting (except for Stone's daughter played by Elizabeth Allan) is above average, with both Barrymore and Stone turning in excellent work, as do about a dozen or so character actors, some of whom are outstanding.
But what struck me the most was the quality of the print and of the photography itself. Once I looked up Oliver T. Marsh (brother of Mae), I saw that he he went on to do many major films, and died relatively young. His work his is luminescent, and it's not just the lighting that grabs your attention. Most every shot is placed just perfectly (Clarence brown in inspired form) and the various angles and shades of lights brought as much pleasure as the acting, sometimes even more in the more clichéd and/or staid moments.
Without a doubt, this is a far above average production.
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