A Free Soul

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A Free Soul ★★½ 1931

Tippling litigator Barrymore helps low-life mobster Gable beat a murder rap, only to discover the hood has stolen his daughter's heart. Bargaining with his ditzy daughter, he vows to eschew the bottle if she'll stay away from good-for-nothing Gable. Directed by Brown, best known for his work with Garbo, and based on the memoirs of Adela Rogers St. John. The final courtroom scene—a cloak-and-gavel classic—cinched Barrymore's Oscar. Remade with Liz Taylor as “The Girl Who Had Everything” (although, ironically, the earlier version is the racier of the two). 94m/B VHS . Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable, James Gleason, Lucy Beaumont; D: Clarence Brown; C: William H. Daniels. Oscars ‘31: Actor (Barrymore).