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False Faces (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 13 October 1932 (USA)
Dr. Silas Brenton is fired from his position at a large hospital, primarily for a lack of ethics, and goes to Chicago and sets himself up as a plastic surgeon (unqualified) and seducer of ... See full summary »

Director:

Lowell Sherman

Writers:

Llewellyn Hughes (story and screenplay) (as Llewelyn Hughes), Kubec Glasmon (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Lowell Sherman ... Dr. Silas Brenton
Peggy Shannon ... Elsie Fryer
Lila Lee ... Georgia Rand
Berton Churchill ... Dr. John B. Parker
David Landau ... McCullough
Harold Waldridge ... Jimmy (as Harold Waldrige)
Geneva Mitchell ... Florence Day
Oscar Apfel ... Fineberg
Miriam Seegar ... Lottie Nation (as Miriam Seeger)
Joyce Compton ... Dottie Nation
Nance O'Neil ... Mrs. Finn
Edward Martindel ... Jonathan Day
Purnell Pratt ... Jefferson Howe
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Storyline

Dr. Silas Brenton is fired from his position at a large hospital, primarily for a lack of ethics, and goes to Chicago and sets himself up as a plastic surgeon (unqualified) and seducer of women; his quack methods lead to an operating-room failure that leads to tragedy for many others. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caras Falsas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

K.B.S. Productions Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
The Con Goes On
27 October 2017 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Lowell Sherman is a doctor and surgeon in New York City who gets kicked out -- quietly -- for taking money at a free hospital for promising extras for his patients. He heads out to Chicago, where he sets up, despite no training, as a plastic surgeon. Doctors are not permitted to advertise -- he gets his name in the paper anyway, he lectures nationwide on the radio, he writes a column in the newspaper. Women come flocking to him and it isn't until the real doctors come down on him that he is arrested for malpractice.

The audience at the Museum of Modern Art didn't care much for this movie, because .... well, I thought it was better than most of they did. About eighty years ago, one of my grandfathers opened a butter-and-eggs store. Every morning, the housewives would come in and ask if there was anything special. After a while he put a crate of eggs under the counter and when asked, would produce these. "Double-candled," he would explain. For these, instead of a dime a dozen, he got twelve cents. More recently, I was speaking for a niece about a problem, and noted that not all problems have solutions. "That's pessimistic!" she chided me. I shrugged.

Lowell Sherman's black-hearted Pre-Code scoundrel -- his specialty in the movies at least since Griffith's WAY DOWN EAST -- knows that people believe they can have what they want, and that anyone who tells them they can't is, like all the other doctors in this movie, who decry Sherman's methods, in a conspiracy to deprive them of their just deserts. It's not just medicine; look at cosmetics, or perfumes, or even politics -- if I may bring up the subject -- in which far too many people will believe anyone of expertise who promises them what they want, even if it makes no sense, and blame its unavailability on some malign conspiracy, that the spellbinder will deliver.

Well, best not to get into politics here, given that the people at the Museum would never fall for that line -- just some other. Sherman is good in his role as the stinker, Berton Churchill is fine as his more cautious accomplice and there are plenty of Pre-Code ladies doing things that they could only do for a few years before the Code clamped down.


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