Sweepings Film Details
Overview: Daniel Pardway, starting with almost nothing after the great Chicago fire, builds the biggest department store in town. He wants to pass on the business to his three sons and daughter, but …
Review: I read somewhere that Gloria Stuart’s performance in the excellent “Sweepings” proved she was capable of playing women of depth. I myself can’t see that – she was extremely beautiful but unless her part wound up on the cutting room floor, she wasn’t called on to show much characterization. In her very few scenes she did cry prettily and was able to show some emotion but the girl you will remember is Helen Mack as Mamie, the tough shop girl who meets young Freddie and ultimately comes off second best!! With names like Lionel Barrymore, Eric Linden and Helen Mack you just know you are going to get a very meaty drama packed with emotion and you’d be right. Barrymore plays hard headed businessman Daniel Pardway who, along with his tart tongued wife, Abby, comes to Chicago after the great fire with visions to build a great bazaar. His brother Thane (Alan Dinehart) thinks they are cheapening themselves, that they should have gone more upmarket but time tells that Daniel knows exactly what he is doing!! When Abby dies in childbirth, in addition to expanding his store, he also tries to become everything to his growing children and when Thane utters those immortal words “the way you’re taking care of those kids, they’ll never be able to take care of themselves” – you just know that Daniel is in for 80 minutes of heartache. Gene and Phoebe (William Gargan and Gloria Stuart) are the jet setters, gay, insouciant, feeling life is there to be lived – in other words shiftless!!! Studious Bert (George Meeker) is in college and Freddie (Linden) is at military school. When long time friend Abe(Gregory Ratoff) one day asks Daniel if he can have a share in the store in return for his years of service, Daniel turns him down flat, stating that everything will be left to his children. Apart from Mamie, Abe is definitely the most sympathetic person in the whole film – a man who has been with Daniel from the start, even utilizing some bright ideas of his own but who will never have job security because of Daniel’s iron willed view that family come first. It all leads to a chilling scene where Daniel “jokes” with Abe that when his children take over his future will not be so secure – fortunately Abe is able to have the last laugh!!! First to fail is Gene – not only does he not want to come into the firm but he is involved in a shooting scandal when his mistress (Esther Muir) accidentally shoots his best friend (Chick Chandler). Daniel then pins his hopes on Bert who is keen if not dynamic. There is much sniggering and raised eyebrows when Bert turns down a big overseas appointment to continue work as a window dresser!!! Gloria Stuart doesn’t even have a scene to show Phoebe’s fall from grace – it is all done by newspaper headlines. Freddie turns out to be a rotter but as played by Eric Linden, one who hits some hard times as he does some soul searching. By the end of the movie he is the only one determined to make good for the honour of the family. This sort of family patriarch role was bread and butter to Lionel Barrymore, he could play them in his sleep. Eric Linden was also at the height of his popularity and Freddie was right up his alley.
Duration: 80 min
Also known as: Menestyksen palkka,Sweepings,Duas Gerações,砂上の摩天楼,Figli di lusso,Honrarás a tu padre