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Self Defense (1933)

Self Defense (AKA My Mother) (1933) Monogram. Director: Phil Rosen. Writers: Peter B. Kyne. Photography: Archie Stout. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Claire Windsor, Theodore von Eltz, Barbara Kent, Robert Elliott, Henry B. Walthall, Jamison Thomas, George Hackathorne. A copy of this film is held by The Library of Congress (35 mm, in the AFI/Turner Classic Movies collection)

Review from Variety

Review from Variety, February 21, 1933

My Mother

Monogram production; First Division release. Starring Pauline Frederick. Supervised by Trem Carr and directed by Phil Rosen. Adapted by Tristram Tupper from a story, "The Just Judge," by Peter B. Kyne. Archie Stout, camera. Cast: Claire Windsor, Theo. Von Eltz, Robt. Elliott, Barbara Kent, Henry B. Walthall, Jamison Thomas, George Hackathorne, Willie Fong, Lafe McKee, Si Jenks, Geo. Hays. At Loew's New York, one day, Feb. 6. Running time, 67 mins.

Another mammy meller for Pauline Frederick, not badly done but failing to measure up to the lower edge of the first flight films. Can single in some A houses and get along without help in the upper B division. Not quite up to the mark on photography, though not badly done, it fails to lift to the requisite point of suspense and in short lacks the air of importance which a top rater film should have. Should get over where they are not too exacting.

Done from Peter B. Kyne's "The Just Judge." First called 'Self Defense' but changed with Miss Frederick in mother role. It is an ingenious, if not convincing story, but the plot lacks the necessary weight to carry the footage. It has to be stretched out a bit too thin, so such appeal as there is has to be carried more by the players than their script.

Miss Frederick is a brisk and composed proprietor of a gambling house whose daughter has no idea of her mother's calling. A disgruntled patron gets the girl to join her mother, and the dive is turned into the hotel the daughter has supposed it to be, the evil influence rubbed out by the hero and his life is saved by the crooked dice which caused all the trouble.

Intelligent support from Theo. Von Eltz, Robt. Elliott and Barbara Kent, with good work turned in by the others, though Walthall is in only for a bit.


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Last revised, January 23, 2012