9 November 2004 | eebyo
The Good, the Tantalizing, the Trite
Good: a rock-solid, mug-free performance by Pat O'Brien, whose acting shines through many interludes of silence. Playing the doctor of the title trying to love his wife into some semblance of compatibility, he is the peerless star of this show; now I wonder why so many other screenwriters were anxious to stuff wordy, windy dialogue into his mouth in his other movies. Tantalizing: the lively-to-edgy supporting performance of Ross Alexander, a lost (to suicide) wonder of the '30s screen. A ringer for the young James Woods and a breezy screen presence, he's got the invincible ease that old-movie hounds like myself tend to think John Garfield invented. Watch this film and decide for yourself. Trite: Conformity is so stifling! Truly artistic people just can't be themselves in a small town! Well, not if they stay as angry as the misfits in this movie. O'Brien's morally grounded, subtle understanding of his character and all the others makes this movie better than average: 7/10.