West of Broadway

Watch West of Broadway

  • NR
  • 1931
  • 1 hr 6 min
  • 6.4  (635)

West of Broadway is a 1931 drama-romance film set in the roaring twenties, directed by Harry Beaumont and starring John Gilbert, El Brendel, and Lois Moran. The movie is a love story that unfolds in California's Mojave Desert between a struggling oil driller and a young woman he rescues from a plane crash. It is a romantic drama that deals with social class, greed, ambition, and betrayal, with a backdrop of free-spirited wealth and excess during the economic boom of the 1920s.

John Gilbert plays the lead role of Dan, an independent oil prospector who has hit hard times in his search for black gold. He invests his last few hundred dollars in a dry hole, but he refuses to give up. He has a never-say-die spirit and an unwavering belief in his intuition about where to drill next. He epitomizes the American Dream ethos; hard work and determination can overcome any obstacle in the pursuit of riches. However, he is not just driven by personal gain. He also wants to prove his worth to his sweetheart, Lou (Lois Moran), who comes from a wealthy family and seems hesitant to commit to a man who is not financially stable.

El Brendel plays Ole, Dan's goofy and comic relief sidekick who provides levity to the movie's serious themes. Ole is a Swedish immigrant who speaks with a thick accent and has a childlike innocence that makes him endearing to the audience. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he has a big heart and is loyal to Dan through thick and thin.

The plot of the film takes a dramatic turn when Dan hears a plane crash in the desert and rushes to the scene to offer help. He finds Louise stranded and injured, the sole survivor of the accident. He brings her back to his camp and nurses her back to health. As she recovers, the two of them fall in love, but there are obstacles to their happiness. Her father, a wealthy oil baron, disapproves of their relationship, believing that his daughter is marrying beneath her status. He offers Dan a bribe to leave town and never see his daughter again, but Dan refuses to sell out.

As Dan and Louise's love blossoms, they face challenges from other sources. Dan's rival oil prospector, Rock Barton (played by Roy D'Arcy), also wants to drill in the same area of the desert and tries to sabotage Dan's work. The tension between the two men escalates, leading to a dramatic confrontation. Meanwhile, Louise's scheming sister, Judy (played by Madge Evans), has her own designs on Dan and manipulates him into a compromising position that threatens to destroy his relationship with Louise.

West of Broadway has all the elements of a classic Hollywood drama. The performances are strong, with John Gilbert displaying his acting range as the rugged, hard-working Dan. Lois Moran is charming as Louise, portraying her as intelligent and independent, but also vulnerable and naive in matters of the heart. El Brendel provides comic relief, but also has some poignant moments of friendship with Dan.

The movie's themes are timeless, reflecting the human condition of striving for success and overcoming obstacles. Although set in the 1920s, the issues of class and wealth differences, as well as romantic entanglements, are still relevant today. The film's portrayal of the oil industry in the United States is also an interesting historical artifact. It provides a glimpse into the exploitation of natural resources, the development of drilling technologies, and the boom and bust cycles of the oil business.

Overall, West of Broadway is a classic Hollywood drama that showcases the talents of John Gilbert, Lois Moran, and El Brendel. It is a movie that will appeal to fans of romantic movies, historical dramas, and classic Hollywood cinema. Its themes and stories remain relevant, making it a movie that can be enjoyed by audiences today as much as it was 90 years ago.

West of Broadway is a 1931 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 6 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

West of Broadway
Where to Watch West of Broadway
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 6 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (635)