Lummox (1930)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Based on a 1923 novel by Fannie Hurst, this dreary and primitive early talkie was unleashed on a derisive audience in January of 1930. Winifred Westover played the title-role, a downtrodden Swedish kitchen slavey seduced by the son (Ben Lyon) of her wealthy employer (Ida Darling). When she discovers that the boy is engaged to a society belle, she leaves the household, carefully hiding her pregnancy. Giving the baby up for adoption to a rich family, "Lummox," a la Madame X, can only watch from the sides as her son (Robert Ullman then William Bakewell) grows up in luxury to become a famous concert pianist. Directed by one of the grand old men of the silent era, Herbert Brenon, Lummox was stagebound to the point of ridiculousness with actors speaking their lines carefully into mikes hidden in vases and other such places. The film was also a case of nepotism: Not even a near-star, Winifred Westover was the wife of William S. Hart, the former Western ace rumored to have a financial interest in the producing company, United Artists. Formerly a leading lady of silent Westerns, Westover was singularly incapable of carrying a full-fledged talking picture. The film, her first in nine years, also proved her last.



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