After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.
William A. Wellman
A mug and a jane: Dorothy knows that every guy is going to make a pass at her; Eddie knows that every gal wastes her money on good times. He's saving to open a repair shop. When the two of them meet, they can't believe they get along. One evening he leaves her waiting in the rain; she finds his apartment and reads him the riot act. They end up spooning and napping until 4 AM. She's afraid of her brother, who's her guardian, so Eddie figures she should tell her brother that she's getting married the next morning. Dorothy tries out the story but knows Eddie won't show up. It's the first of a series of promises, fears, miscalculations, and hard knocks. Where will they end up?Written by
At 39:38, shadow of boom mic drifts across the wall. See more »
I gotta go upstairs now. You see, my mother's dead, and my brother's boss of the house. He gets sore when I stay out late. You know, he's careful for me. But as Edna says, you can't watch a girl hard enough to keep her good if she don't want to be.
See more »
Borzage is a film-maker whose reputation has ebbed and flowed quite dramatically over time. And perhaps not surprisingly. His work represents, even more clearly than that of Ford or Capra, a combination of all that is the best and all that is the worst about US film.
In the late twenties and early thirties, he was looked at as the brightest hope of the US cinema and probably deserves the accolade of being the winner of more undeserved Oscars than anyone else before the advent of Ang Lee. Subsequently his reputation plummeted (as did the quality of his films) but he is now once again riding relatively high in critical esteem, at least in respect of his early films.
But even these are a vary mixed bunch. There are Borzage films I greatly admire, there are several which i Find irritating (most of the Gaynor-Farrell films) but this particular 1931 film I absolutely detest.
Its reputation for "realism" (in the sense of naturalism, that rare bird in US cinema) is entirely unjustified. Any comparison for instance with King Vidor's excellent The Crowd (1928) reveals immediately how spurious and fake the "realism" is here. One reviewer talks of ordinary people not being treated with "condescension". They are in fact treated here as complete and utter idiots and the entire plot revolves around perfectly stupid misunderstandings that are only possible because of the characters' extraordinary obtuseness. This is in turn set off by a fake naivety which is supposed to be charming but is just cringe-makingly sentimental. I have difficulty in imagining any treatment that could be more condescending...and this makes it, to my mind, not just irritatingly sentimentalised (as in the case of the Gaynor-Farrell films) but virtually a kind of pornography that demeans everybody associated with it.
That such a film should be set during an economic depression and, ignoring any of the real problems of the time, should concentrate on such trivialities may in part be due to the fact, as another reviewer points out, to the fact that the original novel was written some eight years earlier but, in the context of 1931, it is absolutely grotesque although typical enough of the US cinema's reaction to the depression.
It is in part just the familiar Hollywood problem with "truth". While The Crowd was hated by the studios and unsuccessful with the public (in practice the first tends to condition the second rather than vice versa), this saccharine piece of junk won another Oscar for its director.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this