pretty wicked little picture about a father (lionel barrymore) and daughter (norma shearer). there is some implied incest early on – when we are introduced to the characters we get the impression that they are lovers. she is getting dressed in another room while he reads the paper and she refers to him as honey and things like that. he comments on how good she looks, etc. not very appropriate father-daughter talk. of course, this is classic pre-code stuff here and you almost begin to wonder if the Hays commission had a point after watching a film like this.
shearer eventually gets romantically involved with her father’s murderer/gambler client (clark gable) and the father does nothing to protect her from this guy. barrymore a lawyer) is able to get gable off of murder charges in an OJ-esque moment when he has gable try on a hat which the murderer is supposed to have left at the crime scene. the hat doesn’t fit so the jury must acquit. amazingly prescient.
gable turns abusive, shearer “spends the night” at his home, etc. all bad news for a nice, proper girl. it is leslie howard (another potential suitor of sheaer’s) who is forced to stop gable from wedding shearer (who by now wants out of the relationship, but can’t escape). in the end, the father takes blame for the fall of his daughter into the world of depravity and abuse. he should have taken care of her, but he was too drunk to do anything about it.
i watched this over the course of a couple days and was dozing off, so i had to go back and rewatch some parts. despite those not ideal conditions, i can tell you that this is a great little film.