SADIE THOMPSON
starring Gloria Swanson and Raoul Walsh
PHOTOPLAY
April, 1928

How Gloria Swanson beat the censors is being demonstrated in her newest and raciest picture. For "Rain" has come to the screen almost intact. Those portions objectionable to the purity leagues have been glossed over, but all the implications of the story are the same. And it is a great story. All normal people should be able to work up a least a mild frenzy over the battle between Sadie and the fanatical reformer of the South Seas. Raoul Walsh directs with speed and vigor, and acts very capably as Handsome, the marine. And Lionel Barrymore is almost perfect. But Gloria Swanson dominates the picture, with a flashing performance.

You will like "Sadie Thompson." It's stirring and ironic and funny. You couldn't ask more.


SADIE THOMPSON
starring Gloria Swanson and Raoul Walsh
SCREENLAND
May, 1928

How to spend your rainy afternoon: watch Gloria Swanson as the heroine of W. Somerset Maugham's best story. Gloria does one of the greatest come-backs in history. Give this girl a role she likes and she has a good time and gives everybody else the same. Acting from contented stars is what this industry needs. Miss Swanson is one of the most fascinating personalities in pictures, but when she appears in a badly-fitting part, she loses her lustre. Mr. Maugham is a good tailor. His "Sadie Thompson" is just what Gloria needed. It's her best part ­ the sort of thing we want to see her do. Gloria as a "good" girl is Gloria wasted. She's one of the few film idols we like to see cut loose. The more exotic her part, the better we like her. And so ­ "Sadie Thompson" offers her everything. Besides, it's a good picture. This is Gloria's lucky year. Raul Walsh has directed in just the right high spirits, and himself plays the important part of Sergeant O'Hara with gusto and virility. Sadie has had rather a bad reputation in film circles since Will Hays exiled her; but as a matter of fact the little girl is going to do a lot of good in the world or I miss my guess. She makes a great sermon for tolerance, and stages an exciting tirade against hyprocrisy. Her heart is big, her manners are careless and her morals are nobody's business. When she appears in Pago-Pago in the South Seas, she excites the interest of a detachment of Marines and the animosity of one Hamilton, a virulent reformer. He attempts to wreck her life, which she is striving to mend, and almost succeeds. Sadie fights back and wins, aided by the wholesome Sergeant O'Hara. Gloria's just great. You'll like the picture. It isn't so often we're treated to a swell star in a picture worthy of her. But "Sadie Thompson" is it, and plenty of it.


SADIE THOMPSON

starring Gloria Swanson and Lionel Barrymore

MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE

May, 1928

Will Hays is reported to have stomped his foot and said, "It ain't goin' to 'Rain' no more." But, nevertheless, here is our Sadie being done wrong by in celluloid. And despite censorial efforts at emasculation, La Marquise de la, Etc., has packed the picture with TNT. Her characterization of the 'Frisco fill who takes the Apia-n way out far transcends any and all of her contributions to date.

Despite the fact that Reverend Davidson of the Jeanne Eagels version is reduced from the cloth to a plain blue-nose reformer, and that Sadie's words of denunciation are subtitley deprived of their sulphur, the screen version is remarkable for its fidelity to the stage original.

Gloria Swanson dominates the action throughout. Secondary honors go to Lionel Barrymore who justifies his name.


Video source: Critic's Choice, Kino

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