85 minutes 2013

Except for The Saga of Anatahan, this 1929 release is probably the most underrated of Josef von Sternberg's sound pictures, and it's underrated for the same reason: Sternberg is known almost exclusively as a visual stylist, but the most exciting thing here is the highly creative sound track. It's Sternberg's first talkie—a near remake of Underworld, a spiritual romance about a doomed gangster, with the same lead (George Bancroft) and Fay Wray—and although this is a minority opinion, I find it better than the original in many ways. With Richard Arlen and Tully Marshall.

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