Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Top Billed Actors: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore
IMDb Rating: 6.7
*Exclusive Award Winner*
Won 1 Oscar:
Best Actor - Lionel Barrymore
Nominated for 2 more:
Best Director - Clarence Brown
Best Actress - Norma Shearer
Plot: A drunken lawyer hooks his daughter up with his murderer of a client, then has a long monologue in a courtroom.
Although this movie jumps around a lot in terms of the style of the narrative, the acting is rock solid. Lionel Barrymore deservedly wins his acting Oscar by portraying himself as a loving father, an absolute drunk, and a competent lawyer. His monologue towards the end of the film was stupendous and it is what won him the Award. Norma Shearer knocks it out of the park again as well. She still remains my favorite actress from this time period.
Although the acting was excellent while the style of story shifts around, this shifting creates an unfocused feel to the film. Shearer's and Gable's romance seems far-fetched and it would have been good to see a more in depth look at Gable's life. Also, the end of the narrative is frustrating in that a trial is being held in a courtroom when the defendant already pleaded guilty. It is clearly just a platform for Barrymore's monologue.
Overall, this movie has tremendous moments in spurts. The acting is great, albeit a little outdated, but the whirlwind of a narrative limits the picture throughout.
My Score: 5/10