3 February 2015 | alonzoiii-1
Henry B. Walthall Saves Sally Blaine from A Police Record
Pretty Sally Blaine has been locked out of her apartment by the mean old landlady. Will she have to get arrested for solicitation to get a warm bed, or will three nice old derelicts (led by Henry B. Walthall) in CITY PARK save her from a jail record and who knows what else?
Henry B. Walthall was a gift to low budget movie makers in the early thirties, enlivening countless cheapo flicks with excellent, rather sad performances of people who have, for one reason or another, seemed to have passed their prime. In this one, Walthall seems to be channeling George Arliss, as his hero is not just well-meaning, but effective and determined to bring together a pair of young lovers by the end of the movie.
The dramatic tension is caused by a couple of things. One of them is Walthall's good natured, tactically clever, but utterly mistaken intervention in Sally Baline's love life. The other is the mystery of who exactly Walthall is. Both these little mysteries, and Walthall's strong performance, keep this from being a dreary piece of sentimental ickyness.
This is pre-code, but there is not much girls in undress or rampant immorality. However, there is no attempt to conceal that the prostitute with the heart of gold really is a prostitute, and isn't giving up the profession. (This becomes a plot point and the end of the show.)
Like most Bs produced by Chesterfield in the early 30s, this isn't brilliant, but is worth seeing.