Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Acquitted (1929) Film Review - Cinecon 44 Screening

Plot Summary - An early melodrama that opens in the hospital ward at Sing Sing, where prisoner Marian (Margaret Livingston) is drooling over her crush - the young and handsome doctor (Lloyd Hughes) who is treating her. On the day of her release from prison, he comes to say his goodbyes - turns out Doc is a convict himself (she seems a bit disappointed - surprise!). In prison as a "lifer" for murder - he claims he's innocent and asks her to give up her old life and go straight. But - - now sporting a bugle-beaded satin dress, she does go straight - straight back to her old gang, headed by a crime boss who runs a fancy hotel to cover up his thief racket. Turns out she's back with them only to try and find out the truth behind the murder her poor doctor was accused of, which she suspects the old gang had something to do with. The boss is quickly on to her though, so blackmails another gang member to take the rap for the murder and get the doctor out of prison for Marian. Then the boss sets it up for the young Doc to be kidnapped and tries to blackmail Marian (guess what he wants from her?!) into saving her man's life - and she loves him enough to take a big risk! And all the while there's a smart detective constantly lurking around corners trying to bust up the hotel crime ring.

Review - This intriguing early talkie turned out to be quite entertaining and well done - it is stagy, I must say, the dialogue delivered in a quite slow, deliberate speaking style - but it works for the film. There is no background music at all - the only music in this is played on a phonograph or by a nightclub band. An interesting film, well worth seeing. Rating - 8/10 stars

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