Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Previously filmed in 1921 and 1926, this venerable 1911 David Belasco stage play provides a good, if slightly risible, vehicle for Lionel Barrymore. Greedy businessman Peter Grimm (Barrymore) returns from the dead in spirit form to correct all the mistakes he made during his lifetime. The old man is particularly anxious to atone for forcing his adopted daughter Catherine (Helen Mack) into a marriage of convenience with his callow nephew Frederik (Allen Vincent). His mission on earth accomplished, Grimm is reunited in the hereafter with his sickly grandson William (George Breakston Jr.), whose death is supposed to be a high point in poignancy (and would have been, had not the audience been fully aware from the first reel that the kid was going to eventually kick the bucket). Throughout the final reels, the "ghostly" Peter Grimm is filmed through a gauze-diffused filter, suggesting that someone has smeared Vaseline on the camera lens.
adoption, afterlife, daughter, death, family, friendship, ghost, patriarch, reconciliation, return