7.8/10
1,817
34 user 13 critic

Heroes for Sale (1933)

A veteran fights drug addiction to make his way in the business world.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Frankie Darro, Rochelle Hudson, Edwin Phillips
Midnight Mary (1933)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An abused orphan sinks into a life of crime.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez
Frisco Jenny (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Ruth Chatterton, Louis Calhern, Helen Jerome Eddy
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Events take an unhappy turn for two Bill and Jack, two locomotive engineers, after Bill is attracted to his best friend's wife.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A torch singer becomes a mail-order bride for a farmer.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Lyle Talbot
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lillian relentlessly attempts to seduce a married man.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, Chester Morris, Lewis Stone
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
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
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Joan Blondell, Warren William, Ann Dvorak
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drunken newspaperman is rescued from his alcoholic haze by an heiress whose love sobers him up and encourages him to write a play, but he lapses back into dipsomania.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Fredric March, Adrianne Allen
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson, Edward Norris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Max (as Robert Barratt)
...
Mr. Winston
...
George Gibson
...
Pa Dennis (as Charles Grapewin)
...
Dr. Briggs
...
Leader of Agitators (as George Pat Collins)
...
Blind Soldier
...
Laundry Company President
Margaret Seddon ...
Jeanette Holmes
...
Captain Joyce
...
'Red' Squad Policeman #1
Edit

Storyline

The saga of Tom Holmes - a man of principles - from the Great War to the Great Depression. Will he ever get a break? His war heroics earn fame and a medal for someone else, and his wounds result in a morphine addiction that costs him a job, his reputation in his home town, and months in a clinic. He goes to Chicago, where he's enterprising and dedicated to his work and his fellow workers, but an invention he champions results in the opposite of his intentions, leading to loss of life and an unjust imprisonment. After release, during the Depression, he must face local "red squads" and vigilante groups jousting out jobless men. Will anyone see his true heroic character? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What Good Are Medals On Tortured Breasts? (Print Ad-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 7 July 1933)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 June 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Breadline  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$290,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director William A. Wellman used real hoboes for the fight scene and real laundry workers for the laundry scenes. See more »

Goofs

When Ruth arrives by taxicab at the scene of the riot, the camera moves toward the cab and she is seen letting herself out from the back seat of the passenger side. However, after a jump cut, the driver is reaching around from the front seat of the cab and opening the door for her. See more »

Quotes

Thomas 'Tom' Holmes: You used to hate the capitalists.
Max Brinker: Naturally. That was before I had money.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Cares About Tomorrow?
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Tom first meets Ruth
Also played when Tom and Ruth are waiting for Mary to get ready
Also played when Tom is talking to Bill about Alaska
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
stunning, important, social message film with beautiful filming and acting
8 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

Heroes for Sale (1933)

Okay, this is frankly a great movie. It's a "type" of movie that may or may not be your thing--a social conscience film. Warner Bros. in particular was famous for these, and the year before had made the astonishing "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang."

In a way, this one owes a lot to that previous film. The theme is similar--a returning WWI vet runs into trouble adjusting to life at home. And the progression is similar, as this leading man goes through huge ups and downs over many years. There are even similar devices used, like showing several places on the map as he wanders the country, showing his paychecks go up over the years (during a successful period), and using a dates to move the narrative ahead quickly.

The crisis in this movie is not a man wrongly accused of a crime, but a man struggling with morphine addiction from war injuries. Once he overcomes that he rises up but because of his compassion for the poor he's labelled a "Red" meaning a communist and is targeted again. The cycle gets worse and worse.

The leading man, Richard Barthelmess, is (like Paul Muni in "Fugitive") a real actor, less a matinée idol and more a compassionate, emotive performer. And he makes the movie complex and heartwrenching. His wife, when you get to that point, is a young, chipper Loretta Young, who is great, but even better is Young's sidekick, who has a growing part as the movie goes, Aline MacMahon. She represents the truest goodness of all the people in the movie, matching the more exaggerated kindness of Barthelmess.

Eventually the movies moves from 1918 (in the war, actual battle scenes) to 1933, with the depths of the Depression kicking in. And so a whole new kind of despair is on view--something the audience itself felt very much. That's something hard to remember or feel is that the audience was not only suffering much like the people in the movie, they had no idea (!!) when and if the suffering, the Depression, would end. Like "Fugitive," this movie ends with that despair on screen.

But boy is this well made. Well photographed, great modern sound, and wonderful direction by the undervalued great Hollywood master William Wellman. Wellman is one of a handful of terrific directors who never developed his own style outside of what the studio was creating as an institution. But for about twelve years or so (up to "Ox-Bow Incident") he made, on and off, some really terrific, classic, still-powerful movies. "Heroes for Sale" is one of them.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial