An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.
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Mr. Morris, the owner of a large metropolitan department store, gives jobs to paroled ex-convicts in an effort to help them reform and go straight. Among his 'employed-prison-graduates' are Helen Roberts and Joe Dennis, working as sales clerks. Joe is in love with Helen and asks her to marry him, but she is forbidden to marry as she is still on parole, but she says yes and they are married. In spite of their poverty-level life, their marriage is a happy one until Joe discovers she has lied about her past, in order to marry him. Disillusioned, he leaves, goes back to his old gang and plans to rob the department store. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Funny. Last Christmas I was on the inside lookin' out and thinkin' I'd go bats if I couldn't get outside. And now I'm out... I don't know. Come to think of it, it was kinda cozy in that little cell.
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This collaboration by Fritz Lang and Kurt Weill is one of the oddest films ever made. It's part gangster story, part comedy, part soap opera, part leftist propaganda...and part musical! Perhaps Weill was trying to find the cinematic equivalent of what he did in the theater with Bertolt Brecht. In any event, the experiment is a failure but a noble failure and in parts quite interesting. It's definitely worthy seeing for two montages set to rhythmic voiceover narration, for Sylvia Sidney's sympathetic performance and for the fact that you'll never see anything else quite like it.
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