Like LITTLE MAN, MAN’S CASTLE is obviously a pre-Code film, free in its sexuality but also downbeat in its assessment of human nature. (One reissue apparently moved the mid-film wedding ceremony to the first reel, to better contextualize the infamous skinny-dipping sequence, morally speaking.) Right when you think you know where MAN’S CASTLE is going, it swerves into new emotional territory. Borzage’s concluding show of faith is one of the great revelations of American cinema.
Kyle A. Westphal
September 18, 2015