11 user 1 critic

Back Pay (1930)

TV-G | | Drama, Romance | 1 June 1930 (USA)
Hester is bored with Gerald who loves her - bored with the Finley Department store - and bored with Demopolis. She leaves town with a traveling salesman named Bloom and the clothes on her ... See full summary »


William A. Seiter (uncredited)


Fannie Hurst (based on the story by), Francis Edward Faragoh (screen version)




Complete credited cast:
Corinne Griffith ... Hester Bevins
Grant Withers ... Gerald
Montagu Love ... Charles Wheeler
Hallam Cooley ... Al Bloom
Vivien Oakland ... Kitty (as Vivian Oakland)
Geneva Mitchell ... Babe
William Bailey ... Ed


Hester is bored with Gerald who loves her - bored with the Finley Department store - and bored with Demopolis. She leaves town with a traveling salesman named Bloom and the clothes on her back. They go to New York where she moves up to mistress of Mr. Wheeler and is well cared for. When the gang decides to vacation at Lake Placid, Hester is dropped off at Demopolis to see how the old town looks after four years. She sees Gerald and he thinks she is a successful career woman and he still wants to marry her. But it will never happen so Gerald joins the Army to fight in the Great War. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance








Release Date:

1 June 1930 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In a separately filmed trailer, Vitaphone production reel #3886, Corinne Griffith tells the audience about the picture. See more »


Although ostensibly taking place in the 1914-1918 period, all of the women's hairstyles and fashions are from the 1930s, and the featured automobiles are also of a late-1920s vintage. See more »


Remake of Back Pay (1922) See more »


Silver Threads Among the Gold
(1873) (uncredited)
Music by H.P. Danks
Lyrics by Eben E. Rexford
Sung a cappella by Montagu Love
See more »

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User Reviews

Significant For Its Own Reasons
15 November 2013 | by medwardb1976See all my reviews

A reviewer has said "Back Pay is Griffith's only surviving talkie so it's impossible to tell if she was playing a part or if her voice was really her voice." I would like to answer that. In the late '70s I was at a film event that had King Vidor as a guest of honor (at least I think it was him, to the best of my memory). Mr. Vidor (or whoever it was) said that Corrine Griffith wasn't successful in talking films, "because she had a southern accent, and so it was good-bye Corrine!" That part I remember distinctly. This would indicate to me, that the voice in the film is really hers, and that is how she actually talked. As to the opening scene, I get the impression they have her singing "They Didn't Believe Me" in order to establish the period in which the story was supposed to be. That song was a huge hit during the teens and 1930 audiences certainly would have understood the time frame by that--since the clothes don't give anyone a clue. Finally I would like to say that no matter how good or bad the film is--any time we have a talking film of a silent star, it is priceless in the sense that we can know what they sound like. I think of how Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle made so many pictures together. Fatty made several shorts in the 1930s just before he died, so we can know what he sounded like. Mabel never did make any talkies, and so we don't know how she sounded. Now someone might say, "Well who cares how they sounded?" Well, I like to know what people sound like, don't you? I think that's just natural curiosity and it's nice when it can be satisfied.

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