The Valiant

  • 1929
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

Muni makes his film debut playing a drifter who murders a man. After being sentenced to die in the electric chair, Muni denies who he really is so that his mother and sister (Yorke and Churchill) won't have to live under the burden of his shame. Muni had developed into an actor of considerable talents on the stages of the American Yiddish theater (performing...read more

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Muni makes his film debut playing a drifter who murders a man. After being sentenced to die in the electric chair, Muni denies who he really is so that his mother and sister (Yorke and Churchill) won't have to live under the burden of his shame. Muni had developed into an actor of

considerable talents on the stages of the American Yiddish theater (performing under his given name of Muni Weisenfreund). The drama here is grim but strong for its time, with an unflinching attitude toward the subject. The cast gives this realism, led by Muni's strong performance. After

establishing himself on Broadway, Muni was signed by Fox and production on THE VALIANT was begun. Studio head William Fox, upon seeing the film's rushes, decided Muni had no sex appeal whatsoever. He ordered production halted, but because the film was well along the way to completion, Winfield

Sheehan, the studio's production chief, argued that it would wind up costing more to kill the project than it would to finish it. Fox finally agreed, but had the budget considerably slashed. Muni's talents survived this stupidity, and he was nominated for his first Oscar for Best Actor (he lost to

Warner Baxter in IN OLD ARIZONA), and the film also earned a nomination for Best Writing Achievement. Although critical praise for Muni was high, the film died at the box office. Supporting cast member Brown later garnered considerable fame as the hero of numerous B westerns.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Muni makes his film debut playing a drifter who murders a man. After being sentenced to die in the electric chair, Muni denies who he really is so that his mother and sister (Yorke and Churchill) won't have to live under the burden of his shame. Muni had d… (more)

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