Review: ‘Flesh’

Wallace Beery plays a big-hearted, big-muscled, small-brained guy with lovable qualities, a sort of cross between Emil Jannings of Variety (1926) and the same Beery of The Champ (1931). Instead of being an acrobat or a punch drunk fighter, he's a wrestler. He goes chump for a faithless woman, according to pattern, and the finish is sad, only this time there's a suggestion of ultimate happiness to deaden the pain.

Wallace Beery plays a big-hearted, big-muscled, small-brained guy with lovable qualities, a sort of cross between Emil Jannings of Variety (1926) and the same Beery of The Champ (1931). Instead of being an acrobat or a punch drunk fighter, he’s a wrestler. He goes chump for a faithless woman, according to pattern, and the finish is sad, only this time there’s a suggestion of ultimate happiness to deaden the pain.

As an inside on the honorable profesh of grappling, the original yarn by Edmund Goulding takes huge Polikai (Beery) out of a waiter’s suit in a German beer garden to the wrassling championship of that country, and then to America where he has to play ball with the gamblers. He wins the world’s title when he’s supposed to lose.

Karen Morley is with him all through the climb as the double-crossing lady who loves her man on the side. Latter, and doing a perfect job of an 100% unsympathetic character, is Ricardo Cortez.

Flesh

Production

M-G-M. Director John Ford; Screenplay Leonard Praskins, Edgar Allan Woolf, Moss Hart; Camera Arthur Edeson; Editor William S. Gray

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1932. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Wallace Beery Karen Morley Ricardo Cortez Jean Hersholt John Miljan

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