6.7/10
1,873
43 user 20 critic

A Free Soul (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 20 June 1931 (USA)
An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Adela Rogers St. Johns (from the book by), John Meehan (dialogue continuity) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Night Nurse (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell
Susan Lenox (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Hersholt
Female (1933)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alison Drake, the tough-minded executive of an automobile factory, succeeds in the man's world of business until she meets an independent design engineer.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Dieterle, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Lois Wilson
Private Lives (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Divorced couple unexpectedly meet each other during their honeymoon and rekindle their love.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Reginald Denny
Hold Your Man (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman is sent to a reformatory when her con artist lover flees after killing a man during a botched blackmail scheme.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Stuart Erwin
Five and Ten (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After her businessman father moves her family from Kansas City to New York, a woman falls in love with an engaged man.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, Leslie Howard, Richard Bennett
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After Nina Leeds finds out that insanity runs in her husband's family, she has a love child with a handsome doctor and lets her husband believes the child is his.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Alexander Kirkland
Night Flight (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Polio breaks out in Rio de Janeiro, the serum is in Santiago and there's only one way to get the medicine where it's desperately needed: flown in by daring pilots who risk the treacherous weather and forbidding peaks of the Andes.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Clark Gable
Possessed (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ambitious factory girl meets a handsome, wealthy lawyer, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her aunt years before.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Jan Ashe
Leslie Howard ... Dwight Winthrop
Lionel Barrymore ... Stephen Ashe
Clark Gable ... Ace Wilfong
James Gleason ... Eddie
Lucy Beaumont ... Grandma Ashe
Edit

Storyline

Stephen Ashe, an upper class alcoholic defense attourney, successfully defends local mobster Ace Wilfong in a murder case. After his daughter Jan Ashe breaks her engagement to polo player Dwight Winthrop and starts an affair with Wilfong, she finds that the liason is not easily severed when she wants out. Winthrop earns Miss Ashe's true affections by killing Wilfong to break his grip on her. Now the question is, can Stephen Ashe save Winthrop with an impassioned defense speech to the jury? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She wasn't a divorcee but she believed that strangers could kiss! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Free Souls See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$529,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lionel Barrymore is often incorrectly cited as delivering a fourteen-minute monologue during the climactic courtroom scene. In fact, while the scene itself lasts fourteen minutes and was shot in one take using six cameras, Barrymore's monologue lasts approximately two and a half minutes. See more »

Goofs

While racing in a convertible roadster with his mistress, Gable is wearing a wide-brimmed fedora, which, if true, would have flown off his head almost immediately upon acceleration. Guys driving roadsters in those days wore tight-fitting caps to prevent this from happening. See more »

Quotes

Jan Ashe: Don't run away from things. Don't hide. Get out in the middle of life and if the wind blows you over - pick yourself up again. Make your own mistakes and learn by them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.2 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

By the River Sainte Marie
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music during the restaurant scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A New Kind of Man in a New Kind of World
18 May 2008 | by laddie5See all my reviews

Yeah, yeah, it's Gable and Howard 8 years before Gone With the Wind, and even then the former makes the latter look like a eunuch. A number of posters seem flummoxed by this little coincidence and by the early-talkie theatricality of this movie. But for its time it really moves and breathes, particularly in the impressive scenes of Norma Shearer and Lionel Barrymore camping in the Sierras, trying and failing to leave their addictions behind and repair their broken relationship.

Technically, this movie may be primitive, but in terms of content and meaning you couldn't get it made today: it's the story of a woman who uses a thug only for her own sexual pleasure, and the baffled and violent way the men in her life react. All three of them are outwardly brilliant and successful -- the lawyer, the gangster, and the rich polo player -- but have their vanity and weakness exposed when confronted with a powerful woman making her own choices. Some of the quieter moments of this movie are pretty devastating.

p.s. strange how the myth that Gable "slaps" Shearer persists... are people really watching this movie? He shoves her back onto a couch twice, and that's it. The real violence is what she does to him by treating him as a boy toy.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 43 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed