Middle-aged Napa Valley grape-grower Tony posts a marriage proposal to San Francisco waitress Lena enclosing a photo of his handsome younger brother Buck. When she gets there she overlooks ...
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Baron Reiner, a charming though unscrupulous Viennese aristocrat, becomes infatuated with Virginia, an innocent schoolgirl who is engaged to his best friend, Manfred. In order to seduce the... See full summary »
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Just after newsman Rooker and Ruth Kearns are married he covers a double murder during a bank robbery. Cigarettes at the scene implicate gangster Tony Garotta. Garotta kidnaps Rooker and another reporter, intending to kill them.
John S. Robertson
Edward G. Robinson
Vice lord Dominic has brought Swifty Dorgan east to do a job for him. When Swifty appears to have died falling from a train, detective Henderson impersonates him hoping to get into the mob.... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
Edward G. Robinson,
Middle-aged Napa Valley grape-grower Tony posts a marriage proposal to San Francisco waitress Lena enclosing a photo of his handsome younger brother Buck. When she gets there she overlooks his duplicity and marries him. Then she falls in love with Buck.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I knew this story first from the musical version, THE MOST HAPPY FELLER, with its great Frank Loesser score. Later, I saw the straight remake, THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WANTED, with Carole Lombard's best straight dramatic role. This version, directed by Victor Sjostrom, is very primitive. Oh, Vilma Banky, despite the claims that her sound acting was always bad, is quite good, although she's best in the sequences in which she says nothing or spends her time mumbling her lines; Edward G. Robinson's portrayal is so stereotypical that it seems almost comical for most of the movie, until the finale, when he plays it big and is very affecting; still, I thought it would have been better played by Henry Armetta -- until I realized that Armetta was still playing bit roles under a different name at this point.
It's Robert Ames as Buck, the casual trouble-maker in this triangle, who is infuriating in this movie. He doesn't start any of the trouble. He doesn't care. He wanders in and out, and Ames plays him as a completely uninvolved drifter, which is completely appropriate, so why does everyone invest so much in him? Yes, he's good-looking in an unkempt way, but there's nothing noteworthy about him. We're supposed to imagine that Miss Banky has talked herself into marrying the man in the photograph, and he's simply taking advantage of the situation, but he's played as not a heel for sleeping with her, nor a good guy for leaving.
So what are we left with? A bit of a curiosity, with the MGM staff still learning how to handle the sound equipment and a fine final two or three minutes from Robinson. It's not enough to make it a good movie, but since it's Edward G. Robinson, it's worth looking at once.
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