- 1 hr 25 min
Forbidden is a pre-Code drama film directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, and Ralph Bellamy. The story revolves around Lulu Smith (Barbara Stanwyck), a small-town girl who moves to New York City to escape her turbulent past. In the city, Lulu meets and falls in love with Bob Grover (Adolphe Menjou), a wealthy and established businessman. However, their happiness is short-lived as they discover the barriers that society puts up against their love.
The film's opening scenes depict Lulu as a young girl, living in a rural area with her destitute family. After a series of unfortunate events, Lulu's mother is sent to prison, and Lulu is forced to work as a prostitute to survive. She decides to leave this life behind and heads to New York to start anew. There, she finds work in a laundry and meets Bob, who is a kind and gentle man. They begin a whirlwind romance and soon get married.
However, their happiness is threatened when Lulu's past catches up with her. When Bob discovers that Lulu used to work as a prostitute, he shuns her and refuses to have anything more to do with her. Lulu is heartbroken and desperate to make amends. She seeks the help of David, a young man with whom she had a relationship before she met Bob. David agrees to help her, but his intentions are not pure.
As Lulu's secret comes to light, the couple is faced with the harsh reality of a society that judges them based on their pasts. They are forbidden from being together because of Lulu's past, and they must choose whether to succumb to society's expectations or to fight for their love.
The film delves into themes of love, class, and societal norms, and challenges the audience's perception of morality. It portrays a strong woman who is not afraid to fight for what she believes in, even if that means going against the societal norms of the time. Barbara Stanwyck delivers a powerful performance as Lulu, conveying both vulnerability and strength as her character faces the challenges brought on by her past.
The film's cinematography and editing are impressive, with Capra masterfully using light and shadows to convey the mood of scenes. The film also features a series of striking close-up shots of Stanwyck, highlighting her character's emotions and inner turmoil. The film's score by Max Steiner is understated but effective in heightening the emotions of the characters on screen.
In conclusion, Forbidden is a film ahead of its time, exploring taboo subjects and challenging societal norms of the time. It is a powerful drama that explores the complex relationships between individuals and the impact of societal expectations on our personal lives. Stanwyck's performance is nothing short of brilliant, and the film remains a classic in cinema history.
Forbidden is a 1932 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.