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(Review originally written at 21 June 2008)

Raoul Walsh was one of the greatest directors of the '30's and '40s, mainly because of the reason that his movies were always such of a high quality and so entertaining to watch. This is a movie from before the real glory days of Walsh and it seemed like he was still having difficulties with this movie to find its proper style and approach.

The different story lines with the different characters just don't always connect with each other. The movie also takes too long with its story to set up things and introduce its characters. The movie is already a real short one and it wastes too much time with its set up. It doesn't even become fully clear what this movie is truly going to be about until like half an hour before the end.

At first this movie even seems as if its going to be a comedy but not a really funny one though. It then picks a romantic approach and after that it turns more into a thriller/drama. This of course also makes the movie a fairly disjointed one and also works out bad for the movie its story, as well as its style.

It's mostly the last halve hour that still makes this movie a perfectly watchable enough movie. It's also then that the story becomes truly solid and the movie also turns into a more original one to watch. Before that the movie was mostly just being formulaic.

It really isn't Raoul Walsh best movie, also in terms of directing, editing and camera-work. It's a cheap and simple looking movie that lacks in style and a good main clear approach of the story. I can see and understand what Raoul Walsh tried to achieve and tried to blend some of the most successful genres of its time into one movie. It's an approach he much better executed in his later movie "The Strawberry Blond" and I'm sure that there are a couple of more better examples to mention but I haven't seen all Raoul Walsh movies obviously. It's not as if this movie is an horrible attempt and is one bad movie but it nevertheless can't be seen as a successful attempt either.

The movie also features Spencer Tracy in one of his earliest roles. His acting seemed modern for its time and he did a great job in this movie.

A movie that luckily gets better toward its end.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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