Joan is the secretary to the public defender in a large city. She is in love with a career criminal named Eddie, and she believes that he is a basically good person who just had some tough breaks. She uses her influence to get him released early, and he tries to go straight after marrying her, but things don't work out, and they both go on the lam. Written by
Tim Horrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PCA director Joseph Breen objected to the robbery scene details which were against the production code. Specifically, he listed "no flash of a man's face contorted with agony, no showing of a woman lying on the sidewalk, no hurling of bombs, no cop lying on the street, his face contorted with pain, no truck crushing out the life of a cop, no terrible screaming, no shots of bodies lying around, no figure of a little girl huddled in death, no shrieks." The print received by the PCA ran 100 minutes, and it is clear from the released print that some of these items and other scenes were cut, and the PCA finally gave it an approved certificate. See more »
Anywhere's our home. On the road. Out there on a cold star. Anywhere's our home.
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Light comedy and adorable romance give way to something darker in this hard-hitting melodrama
Joan Graham is the secretary for Stephen Witney, an honest and dedicated public defender, who succeeds in doing something he would almost rather not do: get Joan's sweetheart, Eddie Taylor, out of prison. Eddie is a good man, but Joan's sister, Bonnie, and Stephen both agree that he is no good for Joan. Eddie was born trouble. Joan and Eddie get married and set out to prove the naysayers wrong. Eddie gets a good, steady job as a truck driver; but a series of disasters sends his life spiraling out of control and the fiercely loyal Joan's along with it.
Fritz Lang directs this hard-hitting melodrama and, as always, fills it with striking images. The shot of Eddie (Henry Fonda) in his cell, with the shadows of the bars reaching out to meet the bored and uninterested guard, stands out. The shots of a wide-eyed and desperate Fonda asking Joan (Sylvia Sidney) for a gun are a triumph for Lang, Fonda and Lang's cinematographer, Leon Shamroy. Lang also gets excellent work out of his editor, Daniel Mandell, who helps Lang to juxtapose images in a suggestive way, e.g. the shots of the frogs with shots of Joan and Eddie.
Standing back from the film and looking at is as a whole makes it something of a marvel. We begin with light comedy, proceed to an adorable romance and then follow the characters as their lives - and the film itself - grows steadily darker.
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