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The Valiant (1929)

After killing an unknown man for an unknown reason, a mysterious drifter turns himself to the law, under a false name intending to protect his own family's honor. But when the news of his ... See full summary »

Director:

William K. Howard

Writers:

Tom Barry (adaptation), Tom Barry (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Muni ... James Dyke
Marguerite Churchill ... Mary Douglas
Johnny Mack Brown ... Robert Ward (as John Mack Brown)
DeWitt Jennings ... Warden Holt
Edith Yorke Edith Yorke ... Mrs. Douglas
Clifford Dempsey Clifford Dempsey ... Police Lieutenant
Richard Carlyle Richard Carlyle ... Father Daly
Henry Kolker ... Judge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Elliott ... Undetermined Secondary Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

After killing an unknown man for an unknown reason, a mysterious drifter turns himself to the law, under a false name intending to protect his own family's honor. But when the news of his conviction breaks, the drifter's sister and mother seeks the possibility that the man is her long lost brother. Written by Nhb55840

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Je suis un assassin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Movietone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is taken from Shakespeares "Julius Caesar; act 2 scene 2; "Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once." See more »

Connections

Version of The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre: The Valiant (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Valiant Effort With An Offbeat Plot That Keeps Its Secrets
20 December 2011 | by alonzoiii-1See all my reviews

The organ music announcing the credits fades, the sound tracks buzzes and hums, and the camera focuses on a door at the end of a bleak hallway. A shot rings out, and Paul Muni stumbles out holding a gun. He says not a word, as he stumbles down a noisy street, tries to get the attention of a cop. While everyone around him chatters on (in the aimless way sometimes one finds in the early talkie), and life goes on, Muni is a man apart, in his own silent world, his motives a mystery, his identity a mystery, but his guilt written all over him. Muni, through the operation of the rather simple and simplistic plot, will prove himself one of THE VALIANT, but will remain almost a total mystery as he goes willingly to the electric chair.

This is a movie with a dynamite opening sequence -- which takes superb advantage of the primitive state of movie-making technology circa 1929 -- that, alas, does not live up to the opening. Paul Muni is good enough to deserve his Oscar nomination (and a heck of a lot better than the guy that got the Oscar that year -- Warner Baxter), but everyone else is wedded to the over-enunciated acting of 1929. And, as is the case with so much of the 1929 product, the pace is so verrrry slow, with the overlong scenes that suggest a filmed play. Any scene that does not feature Muni is downright terrible. He is the one that makes the movie work.

So, this is a movie you might want to see, but you might want to give up on halfway through. It is exceptionally brave plotting though, that while we do sort of settle the mystery of who Paul Muni is, we never quite find out why he did what he did, or even if the story he tells at the end has some element of truth. It's a pity this play does not seem to have been remade, when talkie acting styles had improved.


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