Sorrell and Son

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Sorrell and Son, the best-selling (and frequently filmed) British novel by Warwick Deeping, was afforded its first screen treatment in 1927. Upon returning from WWI, courageous Captain Sorrell (H.B. Warner) returns home to find that his wife (Anna Q. Nilsson) has left him for another. Though his spirit has been crushed, Sorrell has a young son to take care of, so he takes a menial job as a hotel porter. His son Kit (Mickey McBan as a child, Nils Asther as an adult) grows up to become a successful surgeon. Though he worships the ground his father walks on, Kit is unable to watch Sorrell die a lingering death from cancer, so he reluctantly euthanizes his dad. The "mercy killing" element, as controversial in 1927 as it would be in 1997, was the principal selling angle of Sorrell and Son, though it didn't hurt that the acting performances and the Oscar-nominated direction of Herbert Brenon were uniformly excellent. Sorrell and Son was remade in 1934, with H.B. Warner repeating his original characterization. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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