Gladys George, a superlative actress often wasted in secondary roles, carries her starring assignment in Valiant is the Word for Carrie with singular brilliance. George plays the town ...
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Gregory La Cava
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Gladys George, a superlative actress often wasted in secondary roles, carries her starring assignment in Valiant is the Word for Carrie with singular brilliance. George plays the town trollop, who for the love of two orphaned children sets up a successful dry-cleaning business. Her past comes back to haunt her, but she perseveres, giving up all thoughts of personal happiness to provide a decent upbringing for her adopted family.
You're going to fall in love with Carrie...a woman without money, reputation or friends, who fought for the happiness of two youngsters in as stirring a fight as you will witness on stage or screen or read about.
Well the previous comment certainly covers the major plot elements of this little gem.
The copy I have is a little rough but OK. Although there are a few sudden editing shifts, that could be my copy and not the way the film was made. Still VALIANT is a solid soaper that is well shot and atmospheric.
Gladys George is excellent as Carrie and deserved her Oscar nomination. Although the actress was plagued by a drinking habit, she still managed to turn in several super performances in the 30s and 40s. This and MADAME X are her two best. By the end of the 30s she had slipped to supporting roles.
As Carrie, George brings a toughness to the role that seems very real. Her voice and accent (think of Thelma Ritter) set her apart from the "ladies" and make her "earthiness" very appealing. She has a marvelous little scene with Hattie McDaniel on the porch of her cottage.
The kids are pretty good (Jackie Moran and Charlene Wyatt) and not sticky cutesy. Harry Carey as her "legal friend" is also good but hasn't much to do. After she takes the kids away we get a couple good scenes of them in New York.
The Automat scene is a riot. The kids don't know it's a restaurant and think you win prizes by putting coins in the slots. The boy comes back with four slabs of pie and when Carrie starts yelling about vegetables he yells back they're all different flavors. Later in their apartment she feels a mighty urge to go out and party, but the girl gets out of bed and reminds Carrie of her new life.
The kids grow up into John Howard and Arline Judge (looking kinda fat).By then Carrie has bought and worked up a small shop into a chain of shops and they are rich. He wants to work for a publishing outfit and she is waiting for him to notice her. He gets involved with an unscrupulous woman (Isabel Jewell) after he causes a subway accident, and Carrie then gets involved in an attempt to save him from her.
Dudley Digges is the publisher. Maude Eburne is the secretary. John Wray is the cruel father. Helen Lowell is the "do-gooder," and Gabby Hayes is the old gossip. Grady Sutton is the suitor.
But Gladys George is the whole show here. She plays here the kind of part Bette Davis excelled at a decade later. VALIANT IS THE WORD FOR CARRIE is hard to find but it's well worth the effort. And Gladys George certainly deserves to be remembered for the wonderful actress she was.
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