The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality
for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews
that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or
higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for
limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
This low-budget production -- Josef von Sternberg's first directoral effort -- earned praises from Charles Chaplin and was released by United Artists. (Chaplin also used the female lead, Georgia Hale, in The Gold Rush.) The Salvation Hunters was a highly unusual film for its era. Its moody cinematography, symbolism, and purposely ugly backgrounds just did not exist in other films (except for Erich von Stroheim's Greed). In spite of Chaplin's high praise, however, this wasn't a film that audiences of the 1920s found appealing, and nowadays, when von Sternberg's once innovative techniques have become integrated into modern filmmaking, it seems heavy-handed. The story focuses on a boy (George K. Arthur), who is a failure and a coward; a girl (Hale), who is used to the rough life on the riverfront; and a child (Bruce Guerin), whose parents have been killed by the dredge on which the girl lives. In order to "get away from the mud," the boy convinces the girl to take the child and accompany him to the city. There they meet up with the brute (Olaf Hytten), who offers them shelter only because he fancies the girl. The brute takes them out to the country, where he begins to abuse the boy, who finally drops his cowardice and overcomes him in a fight. The girl, who was disgusted by the boy's weakness, is now thrilled with his valor, and they look to the future with new hope.