Review: ‘The Trespasser’

The Trespasser has superior direction by Edmund Goulding, taking a conventional tale to make it stand up very high by twisting it about.

The Trespasser has superior direction by Edmund Goulding, taking a conventional tale to make it stand up very high by twisting it about.

Likely there is no picture with as many anti-climaxes as The Trespasser contains. At least four times the film goes to a finish, as one might suspect, to take another interesting tack. That is one of the novelties of the story. Three others are Gloria Swanson, her voice and clothes.

Speaking and singing, she is okay, with a soft and clear diction which does not grate. Dialog is good and snappy, and steers well clear of melo, with William Holden having plenty of strong lines. Robert Ames does not quite get over, being out-trouped and outspoken by Swanson in most of his scenes.

Marion Donnell (Swanson), stenog to Hector Ferguson (Purnell Pratt), elopes with Jack Merrick (Ames), rich man’s son, and a few days after father Merrick (Holden) horns in and persuades Jack that annulment to be followed by building up of Marion through publicity and remarriage later is socially essential.

The pic is framed to carry a sob at the close of every sequence and with a luscious part for Swanson.

The Trespasser

Production

United Artists. Director Edmund Goulding; Producer Joseph P. Kennedy; Screenplay Edmund Goulding

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1929. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Gloria Swanson Robert Ames Purnell Pratt William Holden Henry B. Walthall

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