Rich Man's Folly

  • 1931
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Dickens' novel Dombey and Son is updated and transplanted from 1800s England to 1931 America for this somewhat interesting feature. Bancroft is the egotistical owner of a family shipbuilding firm. He becomes overwhelmed by ambition and forgets the needs of his family. He ignores his daughter (Dee), for he feels that a woman cannot continue the family business....read more

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Dickens' novel Dombey and Son is updated and transplanted from 1800s England to 1931 America for this somewhat interesting feature. Bancroft is the egotistical owner of a family shipbuilding firm. He becomes overwhelmed by ambition and forgets the needs of his family. He ignores his

daughter (Dee), for he feels that a woman cannot continue the family business. Bancroft's son, Durand, is a frail youth, but his father is determined that one day the boy will take over the business. Bancroft's wife dies, and the man refuses to allow anyone to baby his son. Consequently, Durand

weakens even further, and eventually dies. Seemingly unmoved, Bancroft remarries, ever-determined to produce an heir. Dee is completely ignored and ends up marrying her father's rival. Bancroft's new wife, unable to live with a man who is so obsessed, walks out on him. In the end Bancroft destroys

a new ship that was to bring him great wealth. He has learned that there is more to life than power and money. This is a well-produced and handsomely mounted film. Portions were shot on location in shipyards for a realistic touch. The leads are well played, particularly the parts of Bancroft and

the children. Durand is surprisingly good, a natural actor rather than a "movie kid," while Dee is soft-spoken and eloquent. The direction, particularly during Durand's death scene, is sensitive and well handled. It shows a compendium of character emotions from Bancroft's attempt at self-control

to Dee's loneliness and overwrought grief. Through the use of close-ups and intelligent mise-en-scene, the moment's pure, raw emotion is made to shine through.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Dickens' novel Dombey and Son is updated and transplanted from 1800s England to 1931 America for this somewhat interesting feature. Bancroft is the egotistical owner of a family shipbuilding firm. He becomes overwhelmed by ambition and forgets the needs of… (more)

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