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Monday, May 3, 2021

Fifty Years of Film in 50 weeks, #13: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, 1933

Mabuse: "I AM the state!"
A crazed genius implements a plan to terrorize Berlin as a step toward dominating the world. Where have I heard this before?

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, 1933

Director: Fritz Lang
Writers: Norbert Jacques, Fritz Lang, and Thea von Harbou
Cinematographers: Károly Vass and Fritz Arno Wagner
Produced by: Fritz Lang and Seymour Nebenzal for Nero-Film AG.
Starring: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Oscar Beregi Sr., Gustav Diessl, Otto Wernicke, Karl Meixner

Why I chose it
This classic popped up on my list because of famed director Fritz Lang, and because I had vaguely heard about the 'series' of Mabuse films, I added it to my Twitter poll and it won by a mile. I was also impressed to see it owns an 8.0 rating on IMDb - very high as IMDb ratings go.

'No-spoiler' plot overview
In a large German city, Police Inspector Lohmann gets an urgent phone call from a disgraced colleague (Hofmeister) revealing new details about a criminal gang who have gotten away with a series of robberies and a counterfeiting business. Unfortunately, just when the highly agitated Hofmeister's about to reveal the name of the gang's mastermind, a couple of gang members who have been tailing him burst into the room and Hofmeister immediately goes mad. Due to his detective work, Lohmann receives evidence that somehow the famous Doctor-turned-catatonic-mental-patient, Mabuse, is directing these criminal efforts by projecting his will through pages of scribblings and possibly via the supernatural projection of his mind even after his death. In the meantime, one of the gang members, Tom Kent, wants to go straight for the love of Lilli, who has no idea her handsome young man is a crook. A series of suspenseful complications drive this expressionistic tale to its conclusion.

Production Background 
Lang, who had had great success with his first sound film, M (1931), made this as a sequel to his silent epic Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922), based on the Norbert Jacques novel. The only problem was that it was now 1933, the year Hitler and the Nazis, with their campaign of street violence and political subterfuge, took over the German government and the nation. The Nazi minister of propaganda, Goebbels, banned the film after Lang apparently turned down his offer to be the 'head of film' in Germany: read 'propaganda film'. Lang also suspected Goebbels didn't like some of the speeches made by 'Mabuse' that waxed poetic about the value of crime and world domination, or the negative way the film portrayed a crime-ridden and fearful German society. Luckily for Lang, he got out of Germany and had a solid career in Hollywood, including the anti-Nazi film Man Hunt (1941). He left behind his wife whom he was divorcing, screenwriter Thea von Harbou, ironically the former wife of the film's star, Klein-Rogge. 

Some other notable film-related events in 1933*:

  • Silent film actor and comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, after being scandalized following a wild party in a San Francisco hotel in 1921 and falsely accused of rape and manslaughter, suffered a ruined career, ostracism, and the banning of his films, and retreated into alcoholism. Although ultimately vindicated after three trials and having enjoyed a brief comeback as a film director, he died penniless of a heart attack at the age of 46.
  • Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, although minor players, made their debut and danced in their first joint movie together, RKO's Flying Down to Rio
  • The backstage drama/musical 42nd Street (1933), choreographed by Busby Berkeley, revitalized the over-exposed musical and saved Warners from bankruptcy. The film established Berkeley as the most talented choreographer of musical production numbers.
  • One of the first feature-length musical scores written specifically for a US 'talkie' film was Max Steiner's score for RKO's King Kong (1933). It was the first major Hollywood film to have a thematic score rather than background music, recorded using a 46-piece orchestra.

*Thanks to Filmsite.org

My Random Observations

  • This film is a treasure trove for any film lover. It demands, and rewards, multiple viewings. As others have noted, the film defies genre characterization, with elements of surrealism, expressionism, horror, police procedural, and noir. Every time I see a German film from Lang for the first time, I say the same thing: this is my favorite Lang movie. This happened for M, Metropolis, and Spione. Yet I feel this film may hold that favorite spot for longer than the others. 
  • For me the film's best element is its script - there are multiple threads, characters, and story arcs that start far apart and over the course of the film spiral with centrifugal force to a thrilling, yet disturbing conclusion - are we back where we started? Also, all characters are compellingly and realistically drawn, surrealistic exaggerations aside. Think of Inspector Lohmann's opera fascination and cigar-chomping habits, or Tom's emotional breakdown in the unemployment line.
  • Inspector Lohmann (Otto Wernicke) is the real star here, despite leading-man type Diessl and titular character Mabuse (Klein-Rogge). The character of Inspector Lohmann was a holdover from Lang's M, made two years earlier. He was played there also by Otto Wernicke. Here he is in M:

  • How about that sound design? It's masterful, especially considering how early in the sound era this film was produced. There were stretches of dissonant music, silence, or effects like the deafening rhythmic thumping of heavy machinery in action that serve to keep audiences feeling disoriented.
  • I haven't seen the first Dr. Mabuse film, but Klein-Rogge looked familiar. I discovered why - he played the crazed scientist in Lang's silent sci-fi classic Metropolis (seen in the image below - with the wild hair and arms in the air).
  • Ever since I watched the film, I've been thinking about how to interpret the supernatural elements. I suspect there is no definitive view, but to me, considering the number of characters that suffer nervous breakdowns or complete insanity, I feel that 'insanity' drives the film; the supernatural elements exist to give us insight into the diseased mind. Insanity, also, Lang seems to be saying, is a driver of, and a response to, crime and societal disarray.
Screenshots
Three shadowy figures block an escape route for Hofmeister
early in the film.

Inspector Lohmann (Wernicke) is a cigar-smoking jolly fellow,
looking to leave work on time for once although his assistant
Mueller (Klaus Pohl) looks skeptical.

Hofmeister making a desperate phone call.

Light and dark shot of a large lecture hall as students listen to 
Prof. Baum speak on the curious case of Dr. Mabuse.

Prof. Baum looks a bit agitated - what's happening with this left eye?

Tom Kent (Gustav Diessl, center) a bit nervous that the 
gang he joined is discussing murder.

Lohmann with his back to a window attempting to 
reproduce left-handed scrawling mysterious letters into the glass.

Prof. Baum (Berengi, Sr.) sees a ghostly projection of Mabuse 
(Klein-Rogge).

More ghostly projections. This shot also features canted
angles to help represent the perspective of a deranged mind.

Two formidable men, Lohmann and Baum, face off at the
morgue where Mabuse is finally neutralized (or is he?)

Ghost of Mabuse spouting a dangerous philosophy.

Lilli tries to convince Tom she loves him no matter what.

One of the gang is quite the dandy and epicure.

Trapped by the nefarious gang, Tom and Lilli wonder if 
they will escape before rising waters reach their heads.

Lohmann and Tom speed in pursuit of an escaping 
criminal, with menacing trees illuminated behind them.

Where to Watch
It's now available to subscribers of HBO-Max and the Criterion Channel, and the Criterion version is currently available free on YouTube here.

Further Reading
Read my review of the fanciful 2016 biopic Fritz Lang.
The Turner Classic Movies article here provides insight into the genres blurring in the film and current and contemporaneous critiques.
This Criterion essay discusses the connection between Lang's film and the Nazis and also the intriguing use of sound.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Fifty Years of Film in 50 weeks, #12: Love Me Tonight, 1932

"The son of a gun is nothing but a tailor!" "Isn't it romantic"? 

We are now into the height of the pre-Code era with this musical delight of a film.

Love Me Tonight, 1932

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Writers: Samuel Hoffenstein, George Marion, Jr., and Waldemar Young, adapted from a play by Leopold Marchand and Paul Armont
Cinematographer: Victor Milner
Produced by: Rouben Mamoulian for Paramount Pictures
Starring: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Charles Butterworth, Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith
Music and lyrics by: Rodgers and Hart

Why I chose it
I love watching films from the early 1930s and have seen many of the big ones from 1932. Love Me Tonight was one of a handful of recommended new-to-me films; I chose it after it tied with Vampyr in my Twitter poll. The fact that I hadn't seen much of anything from classic film superstar Jeanette MacDonald gave the musical the edge. 

'No-spoiler' plot overview
Our hero, Parisian tailor Maurice (Chevalier), is duped by the penniless Viscount Gilbert de Varèze (Ruggles) into producing a boatload of suits for him on credit. Finally determined to collect what is owed to him, he ventures to the Chateau where the Viscount lives with his imperious Uncle (Smith), various elderly aunts, and cousins Countess Valentine (Loy) and Princess Jeanette (MacDonald). Coincidentally, Maurice had literally run into Jeanette on the road and fell instantly for her; his feelings were not immediately returned. 

To prevent his uncle from finding out about his debts, the Viscount introduces newly-arrived Maurice as a 'Baron'. Thus welcomed as an honored guest in the household, Maurice goes along with the ruse to get close to Jeanette. Ultimately she reciprocates his advances, but once his cover is blown, will they live happily ever after?

Production Background and 1931 in Film History
This film fits nicely into the style that early Paramount Pictures spun into cinema gold: sophisticated and 'continental' comedies and musicals. Russian-born director Mamoulian was a great fit there; he was hired at Paramount's Astoria (NY) studios after directing a number of stage musicals in the 1920s.

Mark Cousins, in his book The Story of Film, said Love Me Tonight is "so explosively innovative that it makes the majority of contemporaneous films look hopelessly dated." He cites Mamoulian's "major coup" as recording the musical and percussive score before the shoot started - unheard of in cinema at that point. In the scene where Maurice first arrives at the chateau, "he seems to dance and dart around the huge rooms" in time to the music. 

At the time the film was released it wasn't seen as a big hit, as 1932 was a down year for musicals before Warner Bros.' 42nd Street resurrected them, but ultimately notched #7 for box office proceeds in 1932. For its post-Production Code re-release (after 1934), this film was trimmed down to 96 minutes to remove more salacious lyrics and costuming. Those missing minutes have never been restored and are presumed lost.

Some other notable film-related events in 1932*:

  • Director George Cukor's A Bill of Divorcement marked the film debut of 24-year-old Katharine Hepburn as Sydney Fairfield (misspelled as Sidney and Katherine in the credits).
  • MGM's classic Best Picture-winning film masterpiece Grand Hotel was the first 'all-star' epic featuring many high-powered stars of the early 1930s, including John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Joan Crawford, and Greta Garbo, etc. 
  • Welsh-born English actress Millicent Lillian "Peg" Entwistle gained notoriety by tragically committing suicide from atop the Hollywoodland sign  - she allegedly jumped from the giant "H". She had been in only one contracted Hollywood movie role (a bit part) since arriving in the LA area, RKO's Thirteen Women (1932), and it turned out to be the last for the 24-year-old discouraged actress. 
  • Paramount Pictures, founded in 1912, began to curtail activities in its East Coast studios in Astoria (Long Island, NY) and moved to Hollywood, once the conversion to "talkies" was complete.

*Thanks to Filmsite.org

My Random Observations
  • Talent overfloweth in this one: Chevalier and MacDonald, of course, and reliably excellent character actors Charles Ruggles, C. Aubrey Smith, Elizabeth Patterson, and Robert Grieg. That said, how underused was Myrna Loy in this one? I'm still really not sure what she was doing there (!). She had freshly graduated from playing exotic and sometimes villainess types in silents but had yet to advance to leading lady roles. Her day will come within a couple of years.
  • As this *may* be the only complete film I've seen with Jeanette MacDonald, my verdict: I like her. She was sassy, elegant, and at once innocent and worldly. Not sure I'm totally sold on her voice, though,although it fits the style of Rodgers and Hart's songs.
  • The opening scene, with the sun rising on Paris and numerous workers and craftspeople beginning their day, had me tapping my toes and snapping my fingers. The rhythmic blend of sounds crescendoed until the camera found Chevalier and he broke into song. You can't go wrong with a movie that starts like this. The opening scene can be viewed here: 

  • The musical numbers overall were tremendously memorable thanks to the genius of Rodgers and Hart. I had no idea that the classic 'Isn't it Romantic?' originates in this film. 
  • Maurice Chevalier seemed to always play the same charming French romantic rogue, but nobody did it better. While I loved this film, my favorite Chevalier remains The Smiling Lieutenant with Miriam Hopkins and Claudette Colbert.
Screenshots
Paris is bustling in the early morning.

Our first glimpse of our Maurice with his million-dollar smile.

Don't trust any man (Ruggles) who pretends to run a street race
because he doesn't have any outerwear!

Everyone joins in singing "Isn't it romantic?"

First glimpse of the lovely princess Jeanette - singing, of course.

Valentine (Myrna Loy) is enjoying this tiff between the Viscount
(Ruggles) and their uncle the Duke (Smith).

The doctor tells Jeanette's assorted relatives that her 
fainting spells will abate if she marries a young man(!)

Robert Grieg once again cast as butler, shows Maurice the way.

A hunting expedition results in a little accident for Maurice,
but brings him into the orbit of his love, Jeanette.

Jeanette finally acknowledges her feelings for Maurice,
but doesn't yet know that he's 'nothing but a tailor'.

Shot superimposition catches Jeanette watching Maurice 
walk down the winding path away from the Chateau

You better not mess with Jeanette - she's determined here
to stop a moving train on its tracks.

Where to Watch
The film is on DVD available through Kino Lorber. A few versions of the film are currently up on YouTube. 

Further Reading    
Richard Barrios's essay for the National Film Preservation Board here.
Fellow CMBA blogger and film historian Annette Bochenek from Hometowns to Hollywood film blog adds her thoughts and fills in some production details here.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Fifty Years of Film in 50 weeks, #11: La Chienne, 1931

MC 1: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud to present a stirring social drama. Our presentation will prove that vice never goes unpunished."

MC 2: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we're proud to present a comedy with a moral."

MC 3: Ladies and Gentlemen, don't listen to them. The play we shall perform is neither drama nor comedy. It contains no moral message and has nothing to prove. The characters are neither heroes nor villains. They're plain folk like you and me. The three leads are He, She, and the Other Guy, as always."

-from the opening of the film.

La Chienne, 1931

Director: Jean Renoir
Writers: Jean Renoir, adapted from a novel by Georges de La Fouchardière
Cinematographer: Theodor Sparkuhl
Produced by Roger Richebé for Les Établissements Braunberger-Richebé
Starring: Michel SimonJanie Marèse, Georges Flamant 

Why I chose it
I was tempted by The Front Page, a well-known film based on the celebrated play by Hecht and MacArthur, but I was really in the mood for something outside classic Hollywood. I had seen two of Renoir's most famous films, The Rules of the Game and The Grand Illusion, but nothing else, so it was time to correct that. Additionally, 'La Chienne' sounds so elegant...but the English translation "The Bitch" would not have made it as a title for a film in the U.S., especially not in 1931.

'No-spoiler' plot overview
Socially awkward retail clerk Maurice Legrand has taken up painting as an escape from his nagging, shrewish wife Adèle and his tiresome day job. Leaving a late evening work function, he comes across Lulu on the street, who is being mistreated by Andre Jauguin, also known as Dédé. He comes to Lulu's aid, and opportunist Jauguin decides that Legrand is a convenient mark to fleece: Lulu is a prostitute who is pimped out by Dédé, who treats her horribly but still receives her love and devotion. Lulu lures Legrand who falls hard for her and puts her up in style in an apartment, and then proceeds to sell his paintings to keep up the lifestyle she and Jauguin have come to expect. Legrand doesn't realize that Lulu is two-timing him while he himself is seeing her behind his own wife's back. A further complication results when Legrand's wife's first husband, thought killed in WWI, shows up with plans to blackmail Legrand for the price of letting him stay with Adèle. Unfortunately for him, Legrand turns this to his advantage, as, of course, he is looking for any reason to be free to be with Lulu. The film climaxes with a murder and an execution.

Production Background and 1931 in Film History
The film was celebrated director Renoir's second sound film and its production was difficult, to say the least. Filming on location in the Montmartre area of Paris, Renoir clashed on set with the production executives when he insisted on using direct sound, a technology difficult to get right in 1931. Further, the human drama playing out on the set paralleled that on screen. Apparently, lead actor Flamant and leading lady Marèse began an affair, while co-star Simon also fell for her. Shortly after production wrapped, Marèse tragically was killed in a car being driven by Flamant, who survived the crash. So when the film was released, the mourning public turned against Flamant, and his career really stalled after.

Another European directed a film based on this story, but converted it to an American setting. This was Fritz Lang's noir Scarlet Street with Edward G. Robinson as the Legrand character, supported by the always terrific Dan Duryea and Joan Bennett. It's certainly worth seeing, but a very different experience. 

Some other notable film-related events in 1931*:

  • 1931 saw the release of two of the most celebrated early "monster" films, both from Universal studios: Dracula (with Bela Lugosi) and Frankenstein (with Boris Karloff).
  • Additionally, two of the earliest and most celebrated gangster films were released: Little Caesar (with Edward G. Robinson) and The Public Enemy (with James Cagney), launching the era of the gangster film, which morphed in the 1940s into a crime film/film noir genre.
  • The 'double feature' came into common use as cinema entertainment.
  • The Best Picture-nominated Trader Horn, by director W.S. Van Dyke, was notable as the first non-documentary production to be filmed in Africa. Some of its jungle stock footage was later used for MGM's first Tarzan film with Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932).

*Thanks to Filmsite.org

My Random Observations
  • Having watched *mostly* American-made films during my decade-long love affair with classic film, my immediate reaction to La Chienne was how much it was, well, French. The story dealt more frankly with sordid details of the life of a prostitute than even contemporaneous pre-Code films from the U.S. There was a scene in which Lulu mentioned matter-of-fact details of the sex act to a girlfriend that just seemed natural at the moment. Another example is Michel Simon's character: while being cuckolded and shown to be socially awkward, he could still be sensual and passionate in his interactions with Lulu, in a way that Edward G. Robinson could not do in Scarlet Street.
  • Is there a character here that is worth rooting for in this film? Probably not. At least the motives and situations of the three main characters, along with the actors' performances, render them interesting and at times sympathetic, proving once again that a 'hero' isn't a requirement to keep the attention of the audience. 
  • Was Renoir's attraction to this work related at all to the Legrand character being an underappreciated painter?
  • As hinted by the 'play within the play' opening commentary, the film defies categorization. While mostly a drama, dark comedic elements are hard to miss. Perhaps the most obvious is the irony of the vaunted late husband 'Sgt. Godard' showing up alive and demonstrating himself to be a low-class petty criminal who never really loved his wife.
  • Renoir was a visual genius on film like his father was on canvas. There are so many brilliant compositions, a few of which I've captured below. 

Screenshots
MC in the opening framing device introduces us to Lulu, 
"La Chienne", while her image is superimposed.

Opening shot frames a banquet table through a dumbwaiter
being used to produce a delicious entree.

Legrand (Simon) does not enjoy the conviviality
of his fellow employees.

Lulu (Marèse) is introduced after suffering a beating from her
lover, Dédé.

Legrand arrives home to the wrath of his wife, Adèle.

With her late husband's portrait between them in the scene,
Adèle reminds Legrand that he isn't living up to his memory.

Terrific mirror-aided shot of Legrand painting his self-portrait.

Legrand is feeling amorous but Lulu wants to talk business.

The former husband, Sergeant Godard, is not dead
after all.

Lulu confides in Dédé (Flamant) that she is getting tired
of her duplicitous love life. 

The ruse might be over.


Legrand and Sgt. Godard fall on hard times.

Where to Watch
Modern audiences now have the benefit of the Criterion restoration to enjoy this film as it looked when it was released in 1931. Get it on DVD or see it streaming on the Criterion Channel, or Amazon, YouTube, and other services for a small fee.

Further Reading
Ginnette Vincendeau's essay for Criterion is detailed and insightful if you don't mind important plot points being revealed. And TCM's article shares more about the troubled production of the film, including struggles with editing.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Fifty Years of Film in 50 weeks, #10: Anna Christie, 1930

 I'm now 20% through my blog project, and entering a new decade. It's appropriate that since Greta Garbo was such a major star during this era, that I include one of her films. 

Anna Christie, 1930

Director: Clarence Brown
Writers: Frances Marion, adapted from the play by Eugene O'Neill
Cinematographer: William Daniels
Produced by Clarence Brown, Irving Thalberg, and Paul Bern for MGM 
Starring: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion, Marie Dressler

Why I chose it
This film rose to the top of my shortlist for Greta Garbo, but also for director Clarence Brown. Many years ago I was impressed with what he did with Valentino's Russian romp The Eagle, and vowed to explore more of his films. I learned of his vast impressive filmography, from the silent days to studio-era classics such as Intruder in the Dust, The Yearling, and National Velvet

That the film was recommended by a film friend and tied for first on my Twitter poll solidified my choice for 1930.

'No-spoiler' plot overview
After being separated from her father Chris (Marion) for most of her life, a young Swedish-American woman, Anna (Garbo), returns to seek shelter with him on the coal barge he captains. Unbeknownst to him and the young sailor she falls for (Bickford), her past is clouded with rape and prostitution. Eventually, she is forced to reveal these details to those she loves and risk their rejection.

Production Background and 1930 in Film History
In some ways, MGM was taking a risk with this film, with Garbo a silent film superstar but so many others becoming victim to the talkies because of their thick accents or other challenges adapting to the new medium. Fortuitously, the script, based on Eugene O'Neill's play, called for his protagonists to be Scandinavian-American, giving perfect screen to Garbo's accent. The film was marketed by MGM with the famous "Garbo Talks!" tagline. They had secured the services of veteran actor George F. Marion (he was born in 1860!), who had originated the role of Chris Christophersen in the Broadway run of the film as well as the 1923 film version. A version in German was also shot at the same time, starring Garbo but featuring a different supporting cast. 

Director Clarence Brown was nominated for two Oscars for films in 1930: this one, and Romance, also starring Garbo.

Some other notable film-related events in 1930*:

  • The first daily newspaper for the Hollywood film industry, The Hollywood Reporter, had its debut.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) was the first major anti-war film of the sound era, faithfully based upon the timeless, best-selling 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque. Although it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, it was criticized as being propagandistic and anti-militaristic. 
  • German stage revue actress Marlene Dietrich starred in her first Josef von Sternberg film, The Blue Angel (1930), playing the role of cabaret singer Lola-Lola and performing her signature song: "Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It)." Her performance in the first major German sound film led to a contract with Paramount in the US. 
  • The movie industry began to dub in the dialogue of films exported to foreign markets.

*Thanks to Filmsite.org

My Random Observations
  • Garbo is not a favorite of mine; while she is usually a glamorous, elegant, and sympathetic screen presence, her acting style brings a touch too much melodrama for my tastes. Yet here, I appreciated what Garbo did with the film's early version of Anna - the fallen, lower class, rough and cynical woman. She left her glamor in her dressing room and convinced as this character. Later, she transformed to a more poised, elegant version of Anna that better matched Garbo's type.
  • Not being from Ireland, I don't know if Charles Bickford's thick Irish accent was a good one, but it sure sounded like it! Bickford had a long Hollywood career and I love it when he shows up in a film. Bonus points if he gets to play a romantic lead.  Although his role here stretches the definition of romantic lead, considering his extreme roughness.
  • Garbo's and Dressler's characters are seen coming into the bar using the "Ladies' entrance"--I had no idea that such a thing existed. A little internet research set me right. According to Madelon Powers in her University of Chicago Press book called Faces along the Bar: Lore And Order In The Workingman's Saloon, 1870-1920,  a 'ladies entrance' served three purposes:  “First, it permitted women to enter inconspicuously and minimize public scrutiny of their comings and goings… Second, women’s entry through the side door eliminated the necessity of their running the gauntlet through the establishment front room . . . undisputed male territory.  . . .  Finally, the side door afforded women quick and convenient access both to the far end of the bar, where they could purchase carry-out alcohol and to a second chamber known as the ‘back room,’ where they could feast on free lunches or attend social events hosted there.” Who knew?
  • My second choice for 1930 film was Min and Bill, also a working-class drama starring Marie Dressler, who was the supporting character, Marthy, in this film. Like George Marion, Dressler was also born in the 1860s and was a theater veteran and considered today one of the greats in early cinema. It never gets old to witness performances of actors whose careers flourished over a century ago.
Screenshots
Christophersen (Marion) and his companion Marthy (Dressler)
meet up at their favorite watering hole.

Anna (Garbo) arrives at the bar and develops a bond
with Marthy, a kindred soul.

Anna's face and body language signal melancholy and
uncertainty in what she will find returning to her father.

High angle shot of the Anna's new environs.

Anna begins a life of dutiful domesticity aboard
her  father's barge.

Rugged sailor Matt Burke (Bickford) checks 
Anna out in the fog.

Anna and Matt getting to know one another.

A fun 'date' in the city.

Lovely shot of Anna with Brooklyn Bridge

Christophersen and Burke have competing
designs on Anna.

High melodrama: Anna and her father during
a moment of reckoning.

Is a happy ending possible for these three?
Where to Watch
The film can be streamed for a small fee on many streaming platforms, including Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube.

Further Reading
Danny of Pre-code.com discusses the film here, highlighting how it conforms to conventions of pre-Code cinema, and like me, admit to not being a huge Garbo fan. As usual, TCM has an excellent essay on the film here.