MovieChat Forums > Redemption (1930) Discussion > Terrible Movie, Dreadful Acting...

Terrible Movie, Dreadful Acting...


John Gilbert is my favorite silent movie actor, bar none. However, I was horrified by his acting in this film. He had a difficult time coming across natural in this new medium. Boardman and Nagel didn't do much better.

This movie came out in 1930. I've watched other movies that came out that same year with long time silent actors who did a better job of adjusting to talkies. Specifically, Rod LaRocque, Norma Shearer and Marie Dressler, all of whom I recently saw in, Let Us Be Gay (1930). The three, as well as the rest of the cast did a commendable job of acting in that early talkie. The only problem I detected in that film was some editing goof-ups.

It's just so sad that a great actor like Gilbert had such difficulty adjusting to sound. By the time he learned to modulate his voice and tone down his excessive body language (which he had mastered in the silents), it was too late. The damage had already been done and the audience lost interest in him.

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Yes, the film is sadly unnatural with both John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman acting in a very affected way, as though they were just from some bad acting class that taught them how to ham it up. How could audiences feel any sympathy for these characters?

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