10 May 2008 | JohnHowardReid
Good Acting and Effective Atmosphere, Thanks to William K. Howard!
Basically, this movie has the same plot as "City Girl". On this occasion, the setting is a dust-blown sheep ranch in Arizona.
And here is another DVD transfer from an old 16mm print in the former Kodascope Library. Unfortunately, it is presented in dreary black-and-white, not in the original tints. And it has also been cut from 6,108 feet to just over 5,000 feet. (Apart from the neat 5-reel length and other factors, you can always tell you're watching a Kodascope copy if minor support players are given an elaborate title card whereas one or more of the actual stars have none).
Fortunately, although the original movie received a rave review from Mordaunt Hall in The New York Times, the cuts have most likely improved the pace of the drama which, despite all of director Howard's effectively atmospheric vistas of the dust-blown studio set, does tend to move a little too slowly to retain viewer interest.
A pallid performance by Kenneth Thomson doesn't help. Admittedly, he's supposed to be a weak character, but that doesn't mean he must signally fail to project any charisma at all.
It's George Nichols who effortlessly steals the acting honors from contender, George Bancroft, who seems a little miscast as a no-account hobo. Jetta Goudal, of course, is totally riveting as the bride who tries to make a go of her unenviable situation.