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60 Ratings

Heroes for Sale

Directed by William A. Wellman
United States, 1933
Drama, War


The saga of Tom Holmes – a man of principles – from the Great War to the Great Depression. Will he ever get a break? His war heroics earn fame and a medal for someone else, and his wounds result in a morphine addiction that costs him a job, his reputation in his home town, and months in a clinic.

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Heroes for Sale Directed by William A. Wellman

Critics reviews

Through a delivery rich with nuance for generous listeners and a glum piquancy for everyone else, deeply informed by an awareness of his own fading stardom, his slightly unsettling air of a man jousting with ghosts lends tremendous force to the New Deal line. It echoes and resolves itself in the viewer’s consciousness precisely because it is so eerily plainspoken, as if by some half-grinning somnambulist ordering a ham on rye.
May 17, 2017
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Wellman crams an astonishing amount of narrative incident into the short running time, with more developments every ten minutes than most contemporary Hollywood productions cover in their entirety. This is also bracingly egalitarian, attacking the hypocrisy of communists and capitalists alike.
May 28, 2014
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…Not a gram of fat in Wellman’s crazy, urgent, ribald Depression pamphlet, about five or six social-protest tracts rolled into one. Shot at, clubbed, imprisoned and banished, Barthelmess is the entire battered populace forced to toe the edge of the precipice and instead choosing to gaze heavenwards with a shrug: “At least it stopped raining.”
March 10, 2014
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