6.5/10
136
5 user 1 critic

A Modern Hero (1934)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 21 April 1934 (USA)
Pierre is a young and handsome circus rider whose mother has long tolerated his amorous adventures but becomes genuinely concerned when he actually falls in love. She reveals to him that ... See full summary »

Director:

(as G.W. Pabst)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joanna Ryan Croy
...
Mme. Azais
...
Lady Claire Benston
...
Leah Ernst
...
Hazel Flint Radier
...
Henry Mueller
...
Young Pierre Croy
Arthur Hohl ...
Homer Flint
Theodore Newton ...
Elmer Croy
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Mr. Ryan
...
Aunt Clara Weingartner
...
Young Pierre as a Child
...
Mr. Eggelson
Judith Vosselli ...
Mrs. Eggelson
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Storyline

Pierre is a young and handsome circus rider whose mother has long tolerated his amorous adventures but becomes genuinely concerned when he actually falls in love. She reveals to him that he's the son of a wealthy man, whom she could not marry because of the circus life. But Pierre uses this knowledge as a springboard to wealth and fame himself, as an automobile maker in the early days of the industry, and as a munitions dealer when war breaks out. But his ambition seems to take its toll on all his relationships, and he seems unaware that he is over-reaching himself... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herói Moderno  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Pierre is shown at the circus getting on a horse and going around the ring counter-clockwise. But, in the close-up shots, he is going around clockwise. See more »

Soundtracks

The Billboard
(uncredited)
Music by John Klohr
Played when Pierre performs his equestrian act
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User Reviews

 
Egotist Overreaches
18 February 2016 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

That might be the headline of a tabloid feature about the hero in question. Played by Richard Barthelmess, 'hero' is an inapt description of author Louis Bromfield's character, since he is neither modern nor a hero. 'Modern' depends on your point of view, but Pierre Radier is more opportunist and con man than hero. There are great similarities and a slight physical resemblance to Tyrone Power's character in "Nightmare Alley", as Radier uses people and their money to improve his social status. Ultimately, his reach exceeds his grasp but his end is better than Power's Stan Carlisle.

"A Modern Hero" is a simple, straightforward story and plays like an Aesop's fable. It is well done and is an absorbing cautionary tale about the evils of money and the pursuit of power. Barthelmess is good, but I thought the best part of the film was the casting of the women supporting him. Jean Muir was lovely as always and Veree Teasdale was even better, with the supercilious air of a female George Sanders. Best of all was Florence Eldridge as a vulnerable widow who falls for the caddish Radier. Her portrayal and her sad, expressive eyes stay with you after her part is finished. Marjorie Rambeau has perhaps her best role as Radier's alcoholic, regretful mother.

"A Modern Hero" is well worth the time and is easy to take at only 70 minutes. I also feel the website rating is somewhat low. It was shown recently on old reliable TCM.


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