Friday, January 17, 2014

A Lady to Love (1930)

Director: Victor Sjostrom

Writer: Sidney Howard

Composer: ???

Starring: Vilma Banky, Edward G. Robinson, Robert Ames, Richard Carle, Lloyd Ingraham, Anderson Lawler, Gum Chin, Henry Armetta, George David, Hector Sarno

More info: IMDb

Plot: Middle-aged Napa Valley grape-grower Tony posts a marriage proposal to San Francisco waitress Lena enclosing a photo of his handsome younger brother Buck. When she gets there she overlooks his duplicity and marries him. Then she falls in love with Buck.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

Edward G. Robinson is one of my all-time favorite actors.  He's one of those cats who I will eventually watch everything he's done.  Of all the old guys, he's in a small club with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Erroll Flynn.  It saddens me that he's one reason why I won't watch this again.  His Italian accent is so annoying that there were times I had to turn the sound down.  He's over the top.  It's like he took his diction lessons from Chico Marx and then went crazy with it.  I'm not Italian nor did I grow up with anyone close to resembling his character.  I tried to get past it but there were moments when he bugged the bejesus out of me.  The bath scene was rather cute, though.  Maybe there are guys like this out there but he's too over the top for me to get behind the rest of the picture.  Everything else is kind of ho-hum...your average romance drama.  It's not a bad story, really.  I liked how Lena (Banky) ended up loving Tony (Robinson) but I wasn't crazy about how Buck (Ames) came back into the picture and screwed things up.  It seemed like that aspect of the story could have been handled better.  Hey, it's an early talkie with some broad acting styles, something that might suit the dramatic (or melodramatic as heavy handed as this picture is) stage more than film but then sound had only been added to the movies a few months earlier.  This is for Robinson or Banky completist fans only.

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