Posted on 11/04/11 05:04 AM
For the modern viewer who reaches into the past seeking film whose lack of modern effect and production focuses attention on plot-line and characterization, there can be a dizzying array of choices for your time and even a person interested in such as I am can completely miss out of hearing of some prominent films.
While the name Joan Crawford has been known to me for much of my life, it has always been associated with vanity and emotional abuse as much as has for craft and performance. Here then a surprise as the caring mother working every angle possible to provide a life for her daughter that she did not have.
Lest one think that an overly simplistic theme follows of finding out that only love is the answer, I assure you that noir qualities of the day are on display with engaging dialogue and more than its share of base human weakness.
At the same time there is also an air of sophistication in the relationships which I would elaborate on if I did not feel it would spoil things for somebody that has not seen it. One example then would be the ability of divorced parents to interact maturely despite strong emotions, much as some people would in life. This from an age where I imagine divorce was far more scandalous than those of this day, and community opinion carrying more weight socially.
There is a cold matter-of-fact air to many of the characters in the film, and their words can be laced with an air of brutality. This "no nonsense" appeal permeates the viewing experience and offers much to the modern viewer as a result.