Excellente interprétation du toujours magistral Lionel Barrymore, dans le rôle du maladif puritain dévasté par les élancements de la chair qui va chercher par tous les moyens à détruire la jeune femme, pour lui une évidente incarnation du Mal... www.cinefiches.com
Despite her seductive eyes and sexy profile, Gloria Swanson's attempt at play acting a hard-as-knocks San Francisco whore stranded in the South Seas is thoroughly unconvincing. If you really want to see Sadie Thompson fight the devil, go check out Joan Crawford's rendition of this same role four year's later in 1932's Rain (youtube it). Quite simply one of the great performances of early cinema. Sorry Gloria.
I must confess that the turn we get in the final moments of it got this movie a better evaluation from me, behavioral differences from that time to nowadays cast aside, of course. I'm no silent era expert, but I'd say nothing much about Swanson here. I'd prefer to focus on the biased morale (infected, better put) of the self righteous reformer and the bold criticism on that time, as well as some of Walsh's skills.
This pre-code chamber play has fun-loving Swanson in a hostel in the South Seas with a Christian reformer who wants her to return to an unfair prison sentence in San Francisco; his lecherous attraction suggests what she has escaped. Economic storytelling in the romance with the soldier. But there's much 'art' too: in original images, mobile camera and Swanson's electrifyingly intense, expressionistic performance.
This turned out to be a fairly gripping watch, with captivating performances from the leads. The addition of the ending was sensitively done for the most part. Sadie herself is a vivacious, plucky character who's easy to watch and root for. Some of the sensibilities are certainly peculiar for a modern viewer, but it's an enjoyable slice of cinema history.