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75 minutes
"Based on the play that made Broadway gasp!" declares the opening title of this 1934 melodrama, one of Charles Vidor's first directorial efforts, and things only get more hysterical from there. This takes place in an old New York mansion where a vicious aging spinster (popular stage actress Mary Morris, in her only major screen performance) reigns tyrannically over her fragile sister and dashing half-brother. When the brother marries a working girl, the spinster, suspicious of the younger woman, vows to sabotage the relationship. In its tongue-in-cheek tone and expressionistic visual style, the movie anticipates not only Vidor's Gilda (1946), but Robert Aldrich's gothic melodramas Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) and Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). Camp aficionados should eat it up.

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