Chatterton and Stone are great, but the direction seemed mediocre.
More of a curio, this was reportedly the first MGM film to have a microphone follow the actors (on a fishing pole) at the suggestion of director Lionel Barrymore. Maybe that's why he got an Oscar nomination. Surely not for directing the photographer or the actors. The direction seemed so devoid of creativity it became obtrusive: a static camera that refused to follow the actors. If an actor moved, it jumped to a two-shot. Ruth Chatterton, however, is excellent as the long-suffering mother who sacrifices herself to prevent harm to the reputation of her son, who defends her in a murder case without knowing she is his mother! And Lewis Stone, who never gives a bad performance, is also excellent as the man she abandoned. It's worth a look for the acting.
- Oct 12, 1998
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