John Parker Read Jr

Sc.: E. Magnus Ingleton, da una storia di Frank Brownlee. F.: J.O: Taylor. M.: Ralph H. Dixon. Scgf.: Charles Kyson, W.L. Heywood, Harvey C. Leavitt. Ass.R.: Scott. R. Beal. Didascalie disegnate da F.J. van Halle, Carl Schneider, Leo H. Braun. In.: Hobart Bosworth (J.C. MacNeir), Rowland V. Lee (Jean Saval), Jean Calhoun (Sylvia). P.: J. Parker Read Jr. D.: Goldwyn Distributing Corp. 35mm. L.: 1780 m. D.: 81′ a 20 f/s

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

According to Kevin Brownlow, who in turn makes reference to the unpublished memoirs of Rowland V. Lee, the film was begun by Irwin Willat. Three weeks into shooting, Willat fell ill and was replaced by Roy Marshall. However, shortly before shooting was over, Marshall fell ill as well, and Lee was asked to finish the film. Following this experience, Rowland V. Lee had the opportunity fulfill his wish to become a full-time director. We would like to add that the same story is sometimes also told in regard to a film attributed to J. Parker Read jr. (A Thousand to One), and some sources claim that His Own Law was begun by Frank Borzage. In any case, it would seem that the shooting stage of the film was quite lively. The first scenes, set in the slums of San Francisco, break completely with the rest. They stand out for their willful realism, for the detailed composition of the shots, the care paid to the lighting. Following scenes are more in line with routine. The photography style sometimes changes completely from one sequence to the next. We move from classic lighting to a more harsh lighting that plays with contrast. According to Brownlow, this is because Irvin Willat, who had worked as a cameraman, had the habit of imposing his personal lighting style in the shots he directed.

Jean-Marie Buchet, Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique

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Print tinted with Desmet method