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Dynamite Reviews

Cecil B. DeMille's first sound epic stars Kay Johnson (in her first motion picture) as a socialite who schemes to marry Charles Bickford, a former miner now on death row, so that she can comply with the requirements that will earn her an inheritance of millions. Counting on the fact that Bickford will be executed soon, which would leave her a rich widow and free to pursue her lover, Conrad Nagel, she marries the condemned man on the eve of his execution. At the eleventh hour, Bickford is given a reprieve, and Johnson finds herself stuck with a husband she cares nothing about. He soon learns of her scheme, leaves her, and gets a job mining. Because she must be cohabiting with him on a certain date to receive her inheritance, she follows him to the mining camp and persuades him to let her stay a few days. Through a series of complicated events, Bickford, Johnson and Nagel become trapped in a mine after a cave-in. Nagel proves himself a hero by exploding a stick of dynamite and sacrificing his life so that Johnson and Bickford can escape. The film is melodramatic, but has the usual grand and exciting DeMille scale that makes the histrionics easier to take. The movie earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Interior Decoration.