Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »
Quiet, organised Dr Talbot meets nightclub singer Nora Prentiss when she is slightly hurt in a street accident. Despite her misgivings they become heavily involved and Talbot finds he is ... See full summary »
The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »
A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... 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 »
Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »
Actress Jessica Wells, sister of actor Damon Wells, is on top of her form except when her husband Vance is around. When Vance takes her to the apartment of a theatrical producer she comes home incoherent and Vance is found dead in the vanished producer's hotel suite. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If this film has a weak spot it's the story's details. Without giving anything away the whole idea of Vance's (Calhern) Svengali-like hypnotic effect on his wife (Astor) is a bit far-fetched, even for 1934. And quite frankly Robinson's disguise left a lot to be desired. And let's not forget the clue that clinched the policeman's case. I can't imagine building a case of such flimsy evidence. There's other areas of concern but I digress. Now for the good part: where the film shines is in the performances. This bevy of fine actors does a most excellent job at presenting complex characters driven by events not of their own choosing. It's a pretty talky film but I didn't mind in the least. The dialog is spirited, lively, expressive. And the performers tended to make me forget the plot's weak points. They were captivating, all of them, Robinson, Astor, Calhern, Cortez (in a rare good guy part), and last but not least, Mae Clarke, in my opinion a most underrated actor.
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