Heroes for Sale Screen 4 articles

Heroes for Sale

1933

Heroes for Sale Poster
  • A bit hagiographic, and a bit heavy on the New Deal propaganda, but it’s hard not to get on board with this guy’s gradual path toward sainthood, enduring the of Calvary of modern life while keeping his head held high.

  • ...Not a gram of fat in Wellman’s crazy, urgent, ribald Depression pamphlet, about five or six social-protest tracts rolled into one. Shot at, clubbed, imprisoned and banished, Barthelmess is the entire battered populace forced to toe the edge of the precipice and instead choosing to gaze heavenwards with a shrug: "At least it stopped raining."

  • Wellman crams an astonishing amount of narrative incident into the short running time, with more developments every ten minutes than most contemporary Hollywood productions cover in their entirety. This is also bracingly egalitarian, attacking the hypocrisy of communists and capitalists alike.

  • Through a delivery rich with nuance for generous listeners and a glum piquancy for everyone else, deeply informed by an awareness of his own fading stardom, his slightly unsettling air of a man jousting with ghosts lends tremendous force to the New Deal line. It echoes and resolves itself in the viewer’s consciousness precisely because it is so eerily plainspoken, as if by some half-grinning somnambulist ordering a ham on rye.