Phil Goldstone

Scen: Frances Hyland, dal racconto “Burnt Offering” di M. Maxwell Goodhue; F.: Ira H. Morgan; M.: Otis Garrett; Mu.: Heinz Roemheld (non accr.); Int.: Zita Johann (Nora Moran), Paul Canavagh (Bill Crawford), Alan Dinehart (John Grant), Claire Du Brey (Mrs. Crawford), John Miljan (Paulino), Henry B. Walthall (Padre Ryan), Sarah Padden (Mrs. Watts), Otis Harlan (Mr. Moran), Aggie Herring (Mrs. Moran), Cora Sue Collins (Nora Moran da bambina), Ann Brody, Syd Saylor, Harvey Clark, Joseph W. Girard, Rolfe Sedan; Prod.: Majestic Pictures Inc.; 35mm. D.: 65’. Bn.

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

The Sin of Nora Moran is neither classic nor camp, but a unique mélange of both. Its standard pre-Code plot (victimized woman descends into a life of degradation) and extremely low budget were common to B-pictures of the period. But it’s the telling of the story that elevates Nora Moran into a class all its own. This it accomplishes through a series of flashbacks, flash-forwards and flash-within-flashbacks so complex that the entire narrative structure quickly ceases to make sense, assuming a free-form, dream-like quality that enhances the film rather than detracts from it. Contemporary reviews likened it to The Power and the Glory, due to its borrowing of that picture’s “narratage” device. Certainly nothing like Nora Moran ever had come from Phil Goldstone, a low-budget producer since 1921 whose best-know effort remains The Vampire Bat (1933). Sources speculate that someone other than Goldstone, who took over from the original director, Howard Christy, was responsible. (Christy had directed Sing Sinner Sing several months earlier for Goldstone). However Nora Moran happened, film buffs can only be grateful. Haunting, hallucinatory, artistic, it may be the best B-movie of ’30s.

UCLA Film and Television Archive – Tenth Festival of Preservation, 2000

Preserved in 2000 from the original 35mm nitrate picture negative and a 35mm nitrate picture and sound workprint provided by Film Preservation Associates. Laboratory services by Cinema Arts, Inc. Sound services by Audio Mechanics and DJ Audio. Preservation funded by The Packard Humanities Institute