The Prodigal (1931)

Passed   |    |  Musical, Romance

The Prodigal (1931) Poster

The blacksheep son of a wealthy Southern family returns to his family's plantation after he spends five years on the road as a hobo.


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7 July 2020 | GManfred
7 ******* Underrated
How much you like this picture depends on how much you like Lawrence Tibbett. He is in almost every scene and the picture is clearly designed for him, and he doesn't disappoint. Tall and handsome and with a great baritone voice, he carries the picture through all of its illogical eccentricities and old-fashioned moral values.

He is the scion of a wealthy southern family who 'hit the road' and became a hobo after becoming disenchanted with the graceful plantation way of life. He returns home after five years to a mixed welcome, from his mother who adores him and his brother who hates him. His brother's wife, played by Esther Ralston, is also in his corner. The story is trifling and dated but I felt Tibbett makes it work, right up to and including the peculiar ending. The plantation workers were stereotyped and this couldn't be made now, but it worked in 1931.

Not sure you will take to it, unless you are a fan of one of the Metropolitan Opera's great voices.

7 stars - Website no longer prints my star rating.

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