- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Richard Barthelmess is terrific
- coy mac
It's too bad that Richard Barthelmess is almost forgotten today. A huge star of the silent screen, Barthelmess just never made the complete transitition to talkies. He is terrific in this role as Tom Holmes. Barthelmess gives the title character just enough moxie to make you believe in the story. Barthelmess never over acts the role or begs for sympathy. The acting is not unlike Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt".. Terrific performance by a lost master of the silent screen...
Then and Now -- Nothing has changed
- Delving Eye
I can't say enough about this film. Made in 1933, it parallels so many issues of today -- an incredible feat, nearly 80 years later. Job loss. Drug addiction. Socialism versus capitalism. Mob uprisings (think Occupy Wall Street). Ruthless bosses who fire employees and replace them with machines. Rich men brought low by a plunging stock market. Riffraff cleaned out of cities by force (think Rudy Giuliani "cleaning up" Times Square in order to "Disney-fy" it). Most fascinating is the recreation of conditions in various parts of the country that protagonist Tom Holmes traverses in search of a job. Billboards tell him and his down-and-out colleagues to "Keep Moving. No Jobs for You. We Can't Take Care of Our Own!" Though everyone in the cast is wonderful, the best character is Robert Barrat as Max, an inventor whose Communist tendencies evaporate once he becomes rich from his washing machine. As he says: "The only thing that matters is money. Without it, you are garbage. With it, you are king!" How true.
Hero or victim?
- Jarrod McDonald
This film took a believable premise and then stretched it in so many dramatic directions, that I wound up shaking my head and deciding it was just one big silly effort to emotionally manipulate the viewer. And yes, a lot happens in a short time, and that's part of the problem. I knew when Barthelmess' character went to jail, that there would be a montage and he would be out in two minutes. And five years was supposed to have passed, but he looked just as fat and healthy as he was when he went into stir. Of course, not only did he pay his debt for a crime he didn't commit, he also had to lose his wife and leave behind a son. The worst part, however, was when he decided to give up his money and hit the road. And we were supposed to feel as if he was a hero for all this, when all it seemed like is that he was a victim of society. What a dreary film and though it was designed to make a person feel grateful for not having such a bad life and to look on the bright side of things, all it accomplished for me was the regret that I didn't watch another film.
This is a fast paced, but well told story.
This is well worth the time to watch. A lot happens to the main character in the short duration of the film. AND it doesn't come off as being too unlikely, at least for the time period.