This film version fo Somerset Maugham's classic story "Miss Thompson" featured the creative talents of Gloria Swanson, Lionel Barrymore, Raoul Walsh, art director William Cameron Menzies and cameramen George Barnes and Oliver Marsh, at the height of their respective careers. Swanson and Barnes were nominated for Oscars, in the first year of the Academy Awards.
Sadie Thompson proved to be a landmark of the silent era. Perhaps its greatest achievement was the film's uncompromising translation of Maugham's controversial story of a San Francisco prostitute and a South Pacific reformer. Swanson correctly maintained that the film's silence was its greatest asset, for the churches and the Hays office could not censor what they couldn't hear.
The tragedy of Sadie Thompson is that for many decades the last scenes were missing from the sole existing print. In this 1987 restoration by Kino International, the final minutes have been carefully recreated, using the original script, the star's own collection of stills, film footage where appropriate, and an orchestral score commissioned for the completed film.
Neglected and forgotten over the years, Sadie Thompson has emerged as an important triumph of the silent era and Swanson's greatest perfomance ever.
A San Francisco prostitute who arrives in Pago Pago ends up in a tangle with a stuffy, hypocritical reformer. Silent film with full orchestral score. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Actress--Gloria Swanson.
Fleeing from possible incarceration in San Francisco, Sadie Thompson, a sultry "lady of the evening", takes to the high seas. Her escape brings her to a tropical island in the South Pacific, where she finds unexpected love with a compassionate Marine. Her newfound happiness is threatened, however, by a zealous Christian reformer who has designs on her flesh as well as her soul.
A silent film.
The Kino Video version features a new orchestral score composed and conducted by Joseph Turrin. Their restoration was supervised by Dennis Doros in 1987.
This is the first of three film versions of Maugham's novel. The other two are: "Rain" (1932; directed by Lewis Milestone; starring Joan Crawford and Walter Huston) and "Miss Sadie Thompson" (1953; directed by Curtis Bernhardt; starring Rita Hayworth, Josť Ferrer, and Aldo Ray).