Saturday, July 24, 2010

review: Way Down East

Apparently this movie is a 1935 remake of an earlier, silent film by DW Griffith. This is one of those "lost treasure unknowns" It's sweet, sad, and melodramatic.

But it is still good. This is one of, if not the earliest leading roles Fonda had - and he is wonderful.

Story: a young woman turns up at a small town farm looking for work. Despite some reservations, the family takes her on as a houseworker. Slowly but surely the son falls in love with the girl. But she has a dark past - and it is haunting her.

I was surprised by the seriousness of some of the issues in this film. Overall, it was a little corny - kinda sentimental (but in my world, that is not a bad thing) - still it did make its moral views known. A little too plainly. The forgiveness lesson was almost too much for me, but it made a point, and I could never fault a movie (or anything) for making such an important point.

The acting was okay - again, a little on the corny side at times, but oh well. Some of the photography was nice, but nothing spectacular.

Overall, a nice little film.

3 and 1/2 stars

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