The Man Who Came Back

  • 1931
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

THE MAN WHO CAME BACK should have stayed away. Only the most dedicated Gaynor and Farrell fans will find anything at all in this terrible adaptation of a Broadway hit that had lots going for it on the stage and hardly anything at all on the screen. Farrell is a scion of New York wealth and enjoys his dissolute existence. Holden, Farrell's father, forces...read more

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THE MAN WHO CAME BACK should have stayed away. Only the most dedicated Gaynor and Farrell fans will find anything at all in this terrible adaptation of a Broadway hit that had lots going for it on the stage and hardly anything at all on the screen. Farrell is a scion of New York wealth and

enjoys his dissolute existence. Holden, Farrell's father, forces the rakehell to go to California in order to escape his old ways and make a life for himself. Farrell responds by hitting all the fleshpots in San Francisco and drinking away his allowance. While there, Farrell meets Gaynor, a

singer, and they fall in love. Holden has his son shanghaied and sent to (of course) Shanghai in another attempt to set the boy straight. In the Open City, Farrell heads right for the opium dens and finds Gaynor already there, now hopelessly addicted to the juice of the poppy. She tells him that

since he left San Francisco with no notice, she thought he was either dead or didn't care about her anymore. Farrell tells her what happened and the two marry, then sail to Hawaii, where they shed their vice-ridden ways and become solid citizens. After a year or so, Farrell hears his father is

ill, so he travels to New York to patch up the rent in the family fabric. When Holden talks poorly about Farrell's new wife, Farrell is angered, but it's only a feeble joke on Holden's part, as he has brought Gaynor to the city via a faster route and they have already established themselves in a

loving father-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship. Whereas the play showed the degradation of alcohol and drug abuse, all of that is whitewashed in favor of a sappy romantic story in which the studio tried its fifth consecutive Farrell-Gaynor duet. Squeaky-clean Gaynor and Farrell as dope

fiends did not sit well with audiences who had come to love their pairings in SEVENTH HEAVEN and STREET ANGEL. Holden died shortly after the film was made and was not related to the later William Holden, whose real name was William Franklin Beedle, Jr. THE MAN WHO CAME BACK was a remake of a 1924

Fox film in which George O'Brien and Dorothy Mackaill played the lead roles.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: THE MAN WHO CAME BACK should have stayed away. Only the most dedicated Gaynor and Farrell fans will find anything at all in this terrible adaptation of a Broadway hit that had lots going for it on the stage and hardly anything at all on the screen. Farrell… (more)

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