6.7/10
2,075
47 user 22 critic

A Free Soul (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 20 June 1931 (USA)
An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Adela Rogers St. Johns (from the book by), John Meehan (dialogue continuity) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Jan Ashe
Leslie Howard ... Dwight Winthrop
Lionel Barrymore ... Stephen Ashe
Clark Gable ... Ace Wilfong
James Gleason ... Eddie
Lucy Beaumont ... Grandma Ashe
Edit

Storyline

Stephen Ashe, an upper class alcoholic defense attourney, successfully defends local mobster Ace Wilfong in a murder case. After his daughter Jan Ashe breaks her engagement to polo player Dwight Winthrop and starts an affair with Wilfong, she finds that the liason is not easily severed when she wants out. Winthrop earns Miss Ashe's true affections by killing Wilfong to break his grip on her. Now the question is, can Stephen Ashe save Winthrop with an impassioned defense speech to the jury? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SHE WAS BORN IN AN AGE OF FREEDOM! Who Could Blame Her for Seeking the Sweet Fruits of Living? (Print Ad- Vancouver Sun, ((Vancouver, BC)) 7 July 1931) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Free Souls See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$529,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to MGM's production chief Irving Thalberg's biography, Adela St. Johns saw Joan Crawford as the lead for the film. However, Norma Shearer wanted and got the part, prompting Joan Crawford's famous remark, "How can I compete with Norma when she sleeps with the boss?" See more »

Goofs

At 21:19, we see that the gangsters are approaching, but when the car backs into the alley, too much time goes by before the gangsters actually pass by. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Ashe, Defense Attorney: Don't you see, my hands are bleeding where the spikes have been driven threw.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Girl Who Had Everything (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

By the River Sainte Marie
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music during the restaurant scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The beginning of Gable
9 January 2007 | by nnnn45089191See all my reviews

"A Free Soul" made Hollywood take notice of a young actor by the name of Clark Gable.Slapping leading lady Norma Shearer around,he portrayed masculinity like no star,with the exception of perhaps Jim my Cagney, had done before him.Lionel Barrymore won the Oscar for his very good performance of the alcoholic defense lawyer. I've always found him overacting his parts but he's very believable in this movie.Norma Shearer is also very good,but still overdoes the dramatics with her silent screen acting.But she's really a stunner in the quiet parts. Leslie Howard has once again one of his thankless parts which doesn't tax his ability at all.A very enjoyable picture.


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