23 July 2017 | MartinHafer
This melodrama offered a few unexpected surprises.
During WWI, an American nurse, Doris (Constance Bennett) meets up with an American serviceman, Barry (Joel McCrea) and soon the pair are in love. Since this is a pre-code picture*, the pair apparently slept together before he shipped out for France...with the promise to marry her when he returned. However, she soon receives word that Barry has been killed...and she is pregnant. The ardent suitor, Sir Wilfred, still wants to marry her despite this and so she agrees. No one is apparently the wiser that the baby was not his other than Sir Wilfred and his new bride...and things appear very happy. However, when Barry returns and it's obvious he was not killed in action but only injured, Doris has some tough choices...as does Sir Wilfred. Unfortunately, Sir Wilfred does NOT rise to the occasion. What exactly happens? Well, see the film and be prepared for a few surprises.
What I appreciated about this film is that it took a somewhat familiar story idea and cast all sorts of unexpected events as well. The story is NOT one you'll be predicting long before things occur. Additionally, for a 1932 film the acting is quite nice. Well worth your time.
*In films released after July, 1934, this story would have either not been filmed at all or would have been heavily edited due to the premarital sex in the plot. Such things were pretty much taboo in the post-code era...a time period during which Hollywood began making more wholesome and less sordid movies. And, while I love the pre-code films, as they are very entertaining, some of the films did get a bit too racy considering that there was no rating system and anyone could have been in the audiences to see topless girls in "Ben Hur" (1925), lechrous bosses who refused to keep their hands off the women at work ("Employees Entrance") and women who sleep their way to the top...and somehow remain there by the end of the story ("Red-Headed Woman"). I don't think this film really has anything offensive at all about in it...but a few pre-code films did seem to really push the envelope!