Saturday, August 6, 2016

Man's Castle

Frank Borzage 
Hollywood CA 1933

Borzage’s great film, about two homeless youths living in a Hooverville  in New York City on the edge of the East River at the height of the Great Depression, stars a randy young Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young (they became lovers while making the film, despite Tracy’s being Catholic and married, and the affair lasted a few years.)  He picks her up in a city park while he’s feeding popcorn to pigeons.  He finds her staring enviously at these birds because she hasn’t eaten in three days, so he takes her to a fancy restaurant for a meal that they haven’t the money for.  He talks their way out of it.  As with most of Borzage’s great films, this one is about the supernatural bond of love that forces a willful man like Bill to act against his character and actually do good. This is likely the only film in which Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young were ever required to perform naked.  It’s worth seeing.

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