- I own a copy. Available on Kino video, on DVD, and the quality and condition of the 1929 film is superlative. Also, it's not a typical "stagnant camera" early talkie where the entire film just looks like a stage play with people standing around emotionally speaking. There's lots of sophisticated camera movement and the sound reproduction is especially superior for its time. It's quite an interesting story -- a blowsy, past-her-peak vaudeville entertainer performing in the sleaziest dives gives birth to a daughter in the 1910's and while the child is still a tot, she realizes the sordid backstage life isn't appropriate for her little girl, and uses all her savings to educate her daughter in a fine Catholic boarding school. The no-good cad boyfriend of this woman persuades her to take the daughter out of school at age 17 and make her "earn her own keep" and "join the act", exposing the sheltered, gently-reared teen to a squalid life she could hardly imagine for herself. Plus sleazy boyfriend is making passes at the adolescent behind mamma's back, so the girl runs away from him and manages to meet a nice boy, a young sailor on leave who protects her, and they fall in love. Helen Morgan is great as the has-been performer and her sad end in the story is harrrowingly done. The musical "acts" in the film are very watchable, realistic and believable of what entertainment in crummy low theaters was like in the 1920's -- I heartily recommend this movie to everyone, and over 80 years later this film is still lauded as a treasure.
Laura (I love early talkie movies from the late 1920's, and have managed to collect all kinds of neat out of print stuff on video. just ask me what I HAVEN'T seen friom that era! :D )