The Passing Of The Third Floor Back

  • 1935
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Decent film adaptation of a popular Victorian morality play casts Veidt as a mysterious and gentle-looking stranger who appears out of the night to take a room in a run-down boardinghouse presided over by avaricious landlord Cellier. Veidt takes the only vacant room, in the back on the third floor, and soon becomes involved in the lives and travails of...read more

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Decent film adaptation of a popular Victorian morality play casts Veidt as a mysterious and gentle-looking stranger who appears out of the night to take a room in a run-down boardinghouse presided over by avaricious landlord Cellier. Veidt takes the only vacant room, in the back on the

third floor, and soon becomes involved in the lives and travails of the other, mostly pathetic denizens of the shabby boardinghouse. In addition to Cellier, who preys on the poverty of the residents, there's aging dowager Allgood, Lehmann (as a wayward woman now bitterly facing the loss of her

looks), and others with their own petty problems, jealousies, and bickerings. Veidt manages to untangle some of their woes and shows them how to treat one another better, but they soon return to their old ways, Veidt disappears as mysteriously as he came, and Cellier's greed (and eye for young

ladies) gets him murdered. Veidt is better than the material in this static version of a mostly forgotten play (by the author of the Victorian classic comic novel Three Men in a Boat). Several of the supporting players also turn in strong performances, but none of them can help this film's

stagebound manner and basic lack of plot. Veidt gives one of his best performances in a career filled with memorable films, and his Christ-like manner is much played down compared to the way it was usually done on stage. Veidt, an intense actor who buried himself in roles, called this part, in

which he absolutely radiates spirituality, "my most difficult role."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Decent film adaptation of a popular Victorian morality play casts Veidt as a mysterious and gentle-looking stranger who appears out of the night to take a room in a run-down boardinghouse presided over by avaricious landlord Cellier. Veidt takes the only v… (more)

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