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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Charming Sinners 1929

  • Watched on Thursday Jul 30, 2020 via (Unknown 480p)
    3 stars (out of 5)

    I watched a low-res encoding of a scratchy print replete with frame and audio drop-outs on a Russian social networking site. Beggars can’t be choosers.

    Ruth Chatterton plays a kept wife whose husband is conducting a not-so-discreet affair with her best friend. William Powell plays her former flame returned to town. The sinners in question (Chatterton’s husband and best friend) prove far from charming, rendering the title a case of flagrant false advertising.

    Watching Powell, it’s fascinating to see him grow as an actor. In just his third talkie, he’s already recognizing the importance of reacting during his dialog exchanges.

    But this is Chatterton’s movie. Bonus points to the script for affording her real agency and even more bonus points to Chatterton herself for out-charming Powell and overcoming the disappointing ending.