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An American Tragedy 1931 Movie

"An American Tragedy" (1925) Analysis & Review

CountryUSA ,

DescriptionOk, so here's my first shot at 1920s literature. I know it's not the most engaging video visually, but if you've read "An American ... ...

Star Rating

Vote Average 6.5/10 By 644 People (IMDB)

Date of Release 22/8/1931

Genres #Crime #Drama #Romance

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An American Tragedy | (1931) Movie Data

An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
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An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy
An American Tragedy

Description An American Tragedy: Directed by Josef von Sternberg. With Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Frances Dee, Irving Pichel. A poor factory worker, employed by a wealthy uncle, falls in love with a beautiful heiress but his happiness and promising future are jeopardized by a previous affair with a coworker he impregnated.

Story Line Having just reached adulthood, Clyde Griffiths has always lamented his lot in life, he the only son of poor missionaries. He has gotten a peripheral view of society life, to which he aspires, in his work as a bellhop at an upscale hotel. If being truthful to himself, he would admit that he lacks moral strength, he often taking the easiest but perhaps not the most ethical path to protect himself. Forced to move from place to place out of circumstance, he ends up in Lycurgus, New York working at the Samuel Griffiths Collar and Shirt factory, Samuel Griffiths his paternal uncle. Not knowing his uncle or his family, Clyde only wants a chance to get ahead, not expecting anything else from his wealthy relations. After an apprenticeship, Clyde ends up as the foreman in the stamping department. Despite a company rule forbidding foremen to fraternize with staff, especially those working in the same department, Clyde begins an affair, a clandestine one out of necessity, with Roberta Alden, who works in the stamping department under him. Their love is an obsessive one, made all the more powerful due to its clandestine nature. That changes for Clyde when he meets, through his wealthy relations, society maiden Sondra Finchley, the two who immediately fall in love with each other. The extra draw of Sondra over Bert is Sondra's standing in society. By this time, Bert informs him that she is pregnant with his child, she pressuring him to do right by her in getting married. Wanting to be with Sondra instead, Clyde contemplates murdering Bert by drowning her in a lake, he knowing that she doesn't know how to swim. Although Clyde is ultimately unable to commit this act of murder and will do right in marrying Bert, he, due to that lack of moral strength, nonetheless is caught in a resulting tragic situation for all involved. —Huggo(IMDB)

Language English

Director Josef von Sternberg

Writer Theodore Dreiser, Samuel Hoffenstein

Actors Phillips Holmes , Sylvia Sidney , Frances Dee , Irving Pichel , Frederick Burton , Claire McDowell , Wallace Middleton , Emmett Corrigan , Charles Middleton , Lucille La Verne , Al Hart , Fanny Midgley , Arnold Korff , Russ Powell ,

Production Company Paramount Pictures

Budget $

Duration 96 m

Vote 6.5 from 644 votes

Reviews From Users 27

Reviews From Critics 8

Reviews(Top) This lesser-known version of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" (1925) was more successfully filmed by director George Stevens as "A Place in the Sun" (1951). It opens with the dedication, "to the army of men and women all over the world who have tried to make life better for youth." This references a theme present in the novel, but it really isn't placed properly, here. We jump to a scene establishing the fact that handsome protagonist Phillips Holmes (great as Clyde Griffiths), working as a bellhop in Kansas City, is attractive to young women. Visually, this is unnecessary.More important to the story is that Holmes' character had the difficult childhood noted in the opening. This is conveyed, next, with the introduction of his prayerful mother (a good performance by Lucille La Verne). But, the connection is lost, and Holmes is left carrying an empty character. The "tragedy" isn't what happens to his character - instead, it becomes what happens to poor girlfriend Roberta "Bert" Alden (another good performance, by Sylvia Sidney). This doesn't mean director Josef von Sternberg's "American Tragedy" is a bad film, just one that doesn't achieve its potential.******* An American Tragedy (8/5/31) Josef von Sternberg ~ Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Frances Dee, Lucille La Verne



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An American Tragedy

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