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West of Broadway (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 28 November 1931 (USA)
Jerry Seevers returns from World War I service broken in health and his doctor tells him he has only six months to live. His fiancée jilts him and he sets out to drink himself to death. In ... See full summary »

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Ralph Graves (story), Bess Meredyth (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Gilbert ... Jerry Stevens
El Brendel ... Axel 'Swede' Axelson
Lois Moran ... Dot Stevens
Madge Evans ... Anne
Ralph Bellamy ... Mac - The Ranch Foreman
Frank Conroy ... Judge Barham
Gwen Lee ... Maizie
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Edith Trent
Ruth Renick ... Barbara Main
Willie Fung ... Wing - the Cook
John Miljan ... Norm
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Storyline

Jerry Seevers returns from World War I service broken in health and his doctor tells him he has only six months to live. His fiancée jilts him and he sets out to drink himself to death. In one of his binges he wakes up to find himself married to what the assumes is a gold-digger after his money. He leaves her and goes to a ranch in Arizona and get rid of his new bride, who is really in love with him. He sets up divorce proceedings and then realizes he actually loves her. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ett nattligt äventyr See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The review of this film in the Motion Picture Herald edition of 22 August 1931 stated "...the picture may be described as the most monotonous piece of cinematic stupidity ever recorded." See more »

Goofs

The story takes place immediately after WWI, circa 1919, but all of the women's hairstyles and fashions, as well as the popular music, is strictly 1931. See more »

Quotes

Dot Stevens: Listen, I married you straight and square. You can't laugh *that* off.
Jerry Stevens: No, but a good lawyer can. Now, you take my advice, and accept a nice big generous settlement.
Dot Stevens: But I don't want a settlement!
Jerry Stevens: Now look, monkey: there's no reason for you and me quarrelling.
Jerry Stevens: [pulls out his wallet, takes out several bills] Here's a couple hundred... and here's my lawyer's card... and goodbye.
[unceremoniously leaves the room while Dot stands there dumbstruck]
See more »

Soundtracks

Mademoiselle from Armentières
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by the returning soldiers in the opening scene
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Film Going Against That Gilbert Myth That He Had No Voice
30 August 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

West of Broadway (1931)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

A rather strange drama from MGM about Jerry Seevers (John Gilbert), a man returning from WWI where he was injured and the doctors give him just six months to live. He spends most of his nights in a bottle but things start to change when he "orders" a woman (Lois Moran) and the two are married while he's drunk. At first Jerry wants a divorce but the woman has fallen in love with him and plans to break him from alcohol. If you know anything about this era of Hollywood then you know the legendary stories of Gilbert who was given bottom of the barrel roles at MGM and you've probably heard about his horrible talking voice. If you've actually seen any of the pictures from this era you're going to realize that they really aren't as bad as their reputation and there's really nothing wrong with Gilbert's voice. Is WEST OF Broadway a forgotten masterpiece? Not even close but it's certainly a lot better than its reputation would have you believe. I think the biggest thing going against the film is that the Gilbert character never really gets fully developed. When he meets the young woman he's kind as can be but of course he's drunk. He sobers up the next morning and turns into a complete jerk and I must admit that I never really bought this difference in him and it's really never explained. The entire bit about him dying is only occasionally brought up and at times you wonder if the screenwriter simply forgot about it as it comes in and out of the story without too much logic. The film works better than it probably should due to the two leads and their chemistry together. Whether it's the early cute stuff, the more dramatic moments or the predictable "turn" in the story, the two stars are completely believable in their parts and especially when they're working together as this troubled couple. I thought Gilbert was pretty strong playing the alcoholic and especially in the scenes where he's battling the addiction. The supporting cast includes a wasted Ralph Bellamy playing a cowboy, El Brendel, Madge Evans and Hedda Hopper. The story really doesn't contain anything too original or ground-breaking but it's worth viewing due to the performances and that it does actually look at alcoholism in a serious manor, which wasn't always the case with Hollywood. It's funny that this dramatic look at Hollywood would help finish off the career of Gilbert while another silent legend in D.W. Griffith would have his career end the same year with THE STRUGGLE, another film taking a serious look at alcoholism.


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