I watched this film at a classical Hollywood screening at my university. It’s about a farmer who is convinced by a sluttish City girl to drown his wife but instead the farmer works to regain his wife’s trust and they begin to grow closer. Starring Janet Gaynor and George O’Brien.
This is supposed to be ‘one of the greats’ but when giving a film such a prestigious title as ‘A Great Film’ it is really up to an individual person – not a group of musty old film critics, even if critics’ reviews are certainly interesting to read.
And this film is good. The first film (apart from The Jazz Singer) with a synchronized soundtrack, it was an interesting (although rather moralizing) movie. The re-emerging romance between the Man and the Woman was sweet to see too, but given the motivations it had me a bit uneasy. Margaret Livingston’s portrayal of the Woman in the City was quite dramatic and whenever she turned up it would surely spell trouble!
Personally, I would have liked the film even more if they had ended it differently. It was probably au fait at the time but it would have seemed ironic to have the Man get his just desserts after all he had done and had planned to do at the beginning of the movie. However, I totally understand the moralizing element of the plot.
A good film to watch which seems rather timeless. However, the Man’s course of action in which to dispose of his wife are not generally advised and is not condusive to happiness or matrimonial harmony.
MY RATING: ***.5 / *****