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CLASSIC MOVIE REVIEWS:
A TRIBUTE TO THE GROUND-BREAKING FILMS OF THE 20'S AND 30'S
Hello, fellow movie buffs. This page is our tribute to the ground-breaking work of film makers of the 1920's and 1930's. We will offer our views and reviews of selected films from those eras, and at the same time give you the opportunity to tell us what you think. Take a second to check out our links section.
Well, we have graduated and found jobs. I understand that this page fell somewhat by the wayside over the last 4 or 5 months, but that is about to change. This page will feature regular updates beginning very soon. I am also toying with ideas about new looks--we will see. Anyway, we are back and ready to review!
You will notice that several changes have been made to this page. They have been made in the hopes of making this a better, more interesting site. As always, this page will contain film reviews and links. However, I have also added a few more features which I hope you will enjoy. Specifically, I have added a games and trivia section. I have also added a mailbag section in which I will reprint any and all e-mails that I receive about this page. In any event, tell me what you think of these ideas. By the way, have you checked out the section yet? Oh one more thing, is the larger text in the body of the reviews better or is the old way better??
Abysmal. Complete trash-- bad acting, writing, cinematography, etc.
Bomb. One or two redeeming qualities, but inferior overall.
Average. Not outstanding in most respects, but worth checking out.
I had a ball. Solid acting, writing, cinematography, etc. Superior in many respects.
Excellent. A true classic. Superior acting, writing, cinematography, etc. Few, if any, flaws.
Joan Crawford. . . . . Sadie McKee Studio . . . . . . . . . . . MGM
Gene Raymond. . . . . Tommy Wallace Director . . . . . . . . . .Clarence Brown
Franchot Tone. . . . . .Michael Alderson Based on story by. . .Vina Delmar
Edward Arnold. . . . . Jack Brennan Cinematography. . . . .Oliver T. Marsh
Esther Ralston. . . . . . Dolly Edited by . . . . . . . . . Hugh Wynn
Jean Dixon. . . . . . . . .Opal Sound by. . . . . . . . . . Douglas Shearer
Leo G. Carroll . . . . . Phelps Running Time: 92 minutes.
Sadie McKee is the story about a young woman and the men in her life. When we first meet Sadie, she is in love with an alleged petty thief, Tommy Wallace (Gene Raymond). Nobody thinks very much of Tommy, especially Micheal Alderson (Franchot Tone). Michael is a lawyer who would love nothing more than to put Tommy away. Michael's indictments of Tommy are most likely at least partially motivated by Micheal's love for Sadie. Sadie does not much like the way Michael is trying to ruin Tommy's life, so she tells Michael this and heads off to New York with Tommy to get married and start a new life. While in New York, Tommy meets up with a singer, Dolly (Esther Ralston), and runs off with her, leaving Sadie to fend for herself. Sadie's best friend, Opal (Jean Dixon), gets Sadie a job dancing with her at a dance hall. It is at the dance hall that Sadie meets millionaire alcoholic, Jack Brennon (Edward Arnold).
We are re-introduced to Michael when Sadie meets up with Brennon; Michael is Brennon's attorney. Brennon, deep in a perpetual state of drunkeness, asks Sadie to marry him. Michae warns Jack that Sadie will take him for his money and leave him with nothing. Less out of love and more out of spite, Sadie takes Jack up on his offer, and they are married. In short order, we see that Sadis is mired in a sexless, mostly unhappy, marriage to Jack but still deeply in love with Tommy.Soon we discover that Jack is near death due to his years of boozing. Sadie, ignoring the advice from Jack's doctor, undertakes her own plan to save Jack's life, and it works. It is after she has helped save Jack's life that she asks Jack to release her to live her own--with Tommy. So the couple are divorced.
Sadie finds Tommy alone and on his death bed. Surprisingly, Michael has arranged top notch medical care for Tommy--mostly out of love for Sadie. Sadie and tommy quietly say their good byes and tommy dies a quiet death with the woman he loves.
We next see Sadie at Michael's birthday party. It seems that the two are going to try to make a relationship out of it. One can only wonder if true love will ever flourish, but one certainly hopes it does. The End.
I REALLY like this film. It is a wonderful study in character. Sadie gave up a relatively comfortable life for a chance at happiness with a suspect character. Even after tommy leaves her, rather than slinking back to her hometown in shame, she did what she needed to do to make a living. Sure she opened the door when opportunity knocked and married Jack, but I believe this was not a marriage for money; this was a marriage out of spite. This was her message to Michael that he had ruined her life, and now she would return the favor by living off of one of Michael's friends. However, the caring side of Sadie eventually shone through, and she saved the life of a man whom she had no real feelings for rather than taking the easy way out and Jack's money along with it. It is because of her strength of character, that I have a deep abiding admiration for Sadie--truly one of the great movie characters of all times.
The outstanding characters in this film are a product of very solid writing. The plot is well written and the dialogue is just wonderful. At one point Sadie tells the wealthy do-nothings that they would put an innocent man in jail just to show that they are good Americans. That line was a gem, and this film is full of wonderful lines. Some of the best, most believeable dialogue ever written.
Aside from the superior quality of the writing, this film was masterfully made. There are a number of understated scenes which shine out like gems. I particularly enjoyed the pancake flipping scene. One could almost hear Sadie's stomach growl. I also liked the scene in which a man places a cigarette but in a half eaten piece of pie while a hungry Sadie looks wishfully and desparately on. These are simple scenes which convey a great deal of emotion. This economy of filmmaking allows the viewer to become more fully engaged in the film rather than just passive observers.
On top of all of the kudos above, I will add that this film was wonderfully acted. There was not a bad performance in the bunch. Especially good was Joan Crawford. The emotional range for this film was enormous, and she covered it all exceedingly well. Her performance was full of passion and humanity. Just wonderful.
I REALLY liked this film. t is not a perfect film, buit it is still good enough for me to give it our best rating. My rating:
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Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), Nosferatu (1922)
The Divorcee The Blue Angel Indiscreet The Scarlet Pimpernell
Intermezzo The Littlest Rebel Beau Geste The 39 Steps
Destry Rides Again The Gold Rush The Jazz Singer Grand Hotel
FUN AND GAMES
6 Degrees of Joan Crawford: Can you link Joan Crawford with Liam Neeson in 6 steps. All links must be movie related. There may be more than one answer.
Who was Joan Crawford referring to in the following quote? "[She] made me change my costume sixteen times because every one was prettier than hers. I love to play bitches and she helped me in this part."
many times was Joan Crawford married? To whom was she married? E-mail
the answer if you know!!
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Classic Films & Animation of Yesteryear
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