Screening on Film
Directed by Frank Capra.
With Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy.
US, 1932, 35mm, black & white, 87 min.

I had yet to learn that drama is not really just actors weeping and suffering all over the place. It isn’t drama unless the audiences are emotionally moved. Actors’ crocodile tears alone can’t touch their hearts. But courage, faith, love, and sacrifices for others will—if believable.

In spite of scriptwriter Jo Swerling’s valiant efforts to write in some ‘bones,’ Forbidden ended up as two hours of soggy, 99.44% pure soap opera. Some critics moistened their reviews with tears, most burned them with acid. Forbidden was saved from the ‘loss’ column by one or two directorial ‘gems’ (sic), and the fine believable performances of Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, and Ralph Bellamy (one of his earliest films).— FC

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