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THE SON DAUGHTER on today at 4:00 pm, really worth a looksie


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Hey. I'm bypassing the hits and misses thread to start a special post just about this movie, which for the record is not the greatest movie ever, but is completely fascinating on all sorts of levels.

 

Maltin gives it a star and a half. That should be enough to get you interested, although I will add that I actually agree with his comment that Helen Hayes embarrasses herself with her performance. I have never been a fan of hers, especially of her early work where she seems to always be projecting to the back rows.

 

Ramon Novarro is actually shockingly effective in this though.

 

It's also got some interesting images, and some solid Direction, and it's interesting to see its portrayal of Asians in the early 1930s, although I'm not sure if anyone in the cast is actually Asian.

 

The real reason to watch though is the ending, which I'm not going to say anything to spoil, but seriously it's probably the most shocking ending of a Precode that I can think of.

 

Again, this is not the greatest movie in the world but it's certainly better than a star and a half and it's certainly one that if you do sit and watch, I don't think you'll regret.

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It's such a wild melodrama - that you can't take your eyes off it.

 

However, the inauthenticity of Helen Hayes and Ramon Navarro ruin it for me.

 

They also had absolutely no chemistry.

 

But that ending - one for the history books, right?

 

 

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It's such a wild melodrama - that you can't take your eyes off it.

 

However, the inauthenticity of Helen Hayes and Ramon Navarro ruin it for me.

 

They also had absolutely no chemistry.

 

But that ending - one for the history books, right?

I thought about posting half way through for everyone to stick with it just for the ending. The ending is what really makes it worth it.

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There is not much of a Wikipedia entry at all for the film, The IMDb trivia section has five really good pieces of information. I'm not on my PC right now so I can't copy and paste as I usually do.

 

According to them, Anna May Wong was very keen to play the lead, but was rejected for being "too Chinese."

 

(Oh White People, you're my people, but I swear to God sometimes I just can't figure you out.)

 

In the fascinating world of coincidences and circular information, I kid you not, according to them Lupe Velez was announced as the lead early on.

 

I think someone had the foresight to realize, that this would have been so utterly fabulous that people would have literally died in their seats in bijous across the country. Like that Monty Python bit about the joke that's so funny it literally kills everyone who reads it.

 

I think our nation in those dark years of the depression could have really used this though, and those who survived would only use the footage for good and not as a weapon.

 

The guy who wrote the play it was based on was nit happy and sued MGM. It seems to me like a lot of MGM films for this time ran into serious lawsuits.

 

And apparently Robert Z Leonard stepped in for Clarence Brown who was "sick" (ahem) for 10 days. I know just earlier this week I was giving Clarence Brown a hard time for ANNA CHRISTIE, because it is so static and Stagey and boring. Say what you will about SON-DAUGHTER, but I don't really think any of those things apply to it. It's fluid, the camera moves, the lighting is great, and it's gorgeous to look at.

 

(It's otherwise a total damn mess of a movie, but it moves and it's gorgeous to look at.)

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Ok.

I like you but...

That's weird.

 

I mean, it's also your own business how you watch movies and all.

but still...

that's weird.

 

Hehe. I was in hurry and I knew that the ending was unusual so I skipped ahead.

I still have the movie on the DVR.

 

Actually though, plot is very often the least interesting element of a movie for me so I have no issues (usually) seeing the ending first. 

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