A Free Soul

Watch A Free Soul

"She wasn't a divorcee but she believed that strangers could kiss!"
  • Passed
  • 1931
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.6  (2,900)

A Free Soul is a classic drama film from 1931 that stars Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, and Lionel Barrymore. It is based on the novel "A Free Soul" by Adela Rogers St. Johns and tells the story of a rebellious young woman who defies societal conventions and falls in love with a notorious criminal. The movie begins with the introduction of Jan Ashe (Norma Shearer), a free-spirited young woman living in San Francisco with her wealthy father, Stephen Ashe (Lionel Barrymore). Stephen is a prominent defense attorney known for his prowess in the courtroom and his love for liquor. Despite his many flaws, Jan has a deep affection for her father and forgives him for his shortcomings.

The plot thickens when Jan meets the dashing and charismatic Ace Wilfong (Clark Gable), a notorious gangster who quickly sets his sights on the naïve and inexperienced Jan. Despite her father's warnings and objections, Jan falls in love with Ace and agrees to run away with him to a life of excitement and danger.

As Jan becomes more and more deeply involved with Ace, her family and friends grow increasingly concerned for her safety and well-being. Stephen takes it upon himself to intervene and attempts to persuade Jan to leave Ace and return home. In a dramatic courtroom scene, Stephen defends Ace in a murder trial and wins the case, but not without a devastating cost to his own reputation and personal life.

Ultimately, Jan must decide whether to continue down the dangerous path with Ace or turn back towards the safety and comfort of her family and old life. With heart-wrenching performances from all the leads and adept direction from Clarence Brown, A Free Soul is a timeless classic that explores themes of love, family, and personal responsibility in a way that still resonates with audiences today.

Norma Shearer delivers a powerful and captivating performance as Jan Ashe, perfectly capturing the spirit of a young woman yearning for adventure and excitement in a world that seeks to constrain and limit her. Lionel Barrymore is equally impressive as Stephen Ashe, bringing nuance and depth to his portrayal of a flawed yet deeply loving father who will stop at nothing to protect his daughter. Leslie Howard also shines as Dwight Winthrop, Jan's longtime friend and would-be suitor who finds himself hopelessly outmatched by the irresistible allure of Ace Wilfong.

In addition to the outstanding performances from the main cast, the film also benefits from excellent supporting performances from the likes of James Gleason and Lucy Beaumont, as well as gorgeous black-and-white cinematography that captures the mood and atmosphere of 1930s San Francisco perfectly.

Overall, A Free Soul is a must-see for fans of classic cinema and anyone looking for a compelling drama that explores universal themes of love, family, and personal choice. With its expertly crafted story, gripping performances, and enduring message, it is a film that still resonates today, nearly a century after its initial release.

A Free Soul is a 1931 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.

A Free Soul
Where to Watch A Free Soul
A Free Soul is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent A Free Soul for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (2,900)