7.9/10
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Sadie Thompson (1928)

Unrated | | Drama | 7 January 1928 (USA)
A prostitute seeking a fresh start becomes the obsession of a religious extremist.

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Writers:

(story), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Alfred Davidson
... Mrs. Alfred Davidson
Charles Lane ... Dr. Angus McPhail
Florence Midgley ... Mrs. Angus McPhail
... Joe Horn, the trader
Sofia Ortega ... Ameena
... Quartermaster Bates
... Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara
... Sadie Thompson
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Storyline

Sadie Thompson arrives in Pago-Pago to start a new life, but when extremist missionary Davidson lashes out against her lifestyle and tries to force her back to San Francisco, she may lose her second chance. Written by Mike Myers <mmyers@ucsd.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story That Startled the World! (Print ad- The Indepependent Press,(( Bloomfield, NJ)) 18 May 1928) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

7 January 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La frágil voluntad  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(reconstructed) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unseen for many years because the last reel had decomposed, the final eight minutes have been reconstructed using production stills and title cards, allowing modern audiences to see an approximation of the complete film. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Where you going now?
Sadie Thompson: I'm on my way - don't know where but I guess I'll get there.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Gloria Swanson (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strong performances from Barrymore and Swanson
1 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

Religious hypocrisy is the main theme of 'Sadie Thompson', based on a short story by W. Somerset Maugham. Sharing the same hotel in Pago Pago, a religious reformer (Lionel Barrymore) takes a dim view of a 'loose' woman (Gloria Swanson), and after failing to get her to change her ways, lobbies the local governor to get her shipped back to San Francisco.

I liked this version a bit better than the 1932 version with Walter Huston and Joan Crawford because Barrymore is so brilliant, so harshly upright but at the same time, hinting at a demonic side as he glowers away. Despite the movie being silent, director Raoul Walsh (who also plays Swanson's love interest) delivers a couple of compelling scenes with Barrymore trying to exert his will, Swanson resisting, and the rain coming down, unrelenting. Swanson also lets loose with her anger, and in one funny moment it's obvious she's cursed a blue streak, as the ladies around her cover their ears and scamper off. 1928 was the first year for the Oscars and Swanson would be nominated for her performance. I admire her for it, but admire her more for producing the movie despite pressure because of its content, and considered a slightly higher rating.

The film itself is not in that great a shape, and while the last couple of minutes are mostly gone forever, we're fortunate that Dennis Doros restored it as best possible mostly with carefully selected stills. Watching this one has you clearly thinking you're getting a window into the past, but at the same time, aren't these themes of religious overreach still so prevalent today? Thank you Gloria Swanson.


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