Director Frank Lloyd was nominated for an Academy Award for this rather sappy gangster melodrama starring Richard Barthelmess and filmed as a silent with dialogue sequences. Sent up the river by a rival gangster, Jerry Larrabee (Barthelmess) is shown the way to redemption by an understanding warden (the silent era William Holden), who encourages the hoodlum's flair for singing sentimental love songs in general and "Weary River" (by Louis Silvers and Grant Clarke) in particular. Pardoned by the governor, Jerry attempts to make a go at it as a vaudeville entertainer billed as "the Master of Melody" but constant whispers of "Convict!" from the audience ruin his concentration and he returns to the old gang. On the night of the final confrontation with Spadoni (Louis Natheaux), the rival who framed him, Jerry is saved by the quick intervention of the warden and reformed gangster's moll Alice (Betty Compson). Watch closely for future stars Sally Eilers as a hat check girl, and Randolph Scott as Compson's theater companion. Weary River may be seen today in a version restored by UCLA and Turner Classic Movies.
by Hans J. Wollstein synopsis