One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Great Acting, And Leaves The Subtext In The Subtext
Edward Ellis escaped from prison years ago. Now he and Marjorie Rambeau run a lonely hearts club where shy people can meet each other. Ellis is trying to save $5000 so he can buy a fox farm and watches every penny, just as he watches out lest he be identified and sent back to prison. When Dorothy Jordan shows up, he's angry and worried. Her father is Rollo Lloyd, a prison mate of his, sent out to stay with them after her mother died -- she thinks he is dead. They're adjusting to the new situation, and Ellis seems to be melting under his hard veneer when Louis Calhern shows up. He's a racketeer, has the number on Ellis, and proposes to turn the club into a racket, where he and Dorothy Burgess can trim rich suckers.
It's a terrific movie, mostly because of the performances. Ellis and Rambeau play off against each other beautifully, and Rollo Lloyd has a wonderful short scene where he shows up, hungry for a glimpse of the daughter who can never know who he is.
A lot of pre-code movies made a point of the difficulty of rehabilitating criminals. Some of them put it in big titles at the beginning of the movie, intent that the audience should not miss this important message. This one does what a movie is supposed to do: it doesn't tell you, it shows you. It's all the more telling for that.
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