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A Free Soul Overview:

A Free Soul (1931) was a Crime - Drama Film directed by Clarence Brown and produced by Clarence Brown and Irving Thalberg.

The film was based on the novel of the same name and also Stage Play written by Adela Rogers St. Johns published in 1927 (novel); Jan 12, 1928 - Apr 1928 (play performed at Playhouse Theatre, NY).

Academy Awards 1930/31 --- Ceremony Number 4 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActorLionel BarrymoreWon
Best ActressNorma ShearerNominated
Best DirectorClarence BrownNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Uma Alma Livre / A Free Soul (1931)

By Lê on Aug 16, 2017 From Critica Retro

Uma Alma Livre / A Free Soul (1931) É San Francisco, a cidade do pecado! Um homem (Lionel Barrymore) está lendo um jornal quando a sombra de uma mulher se projeta na parede do banheiro. A mulher está nua e pede para ele trazer a lingerie até ela. Ele faz isso, e podemos ver um belo sutiã send... Read full article

A Free Soul

By Amanda Garrett on Jun 11, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm reviewing the classic legal melodrama A Free Soul (1931), starring Lionel Barrymore and Norma Shearer. This article is part of Order in the Court! The Classic Courtroom Movies Blogathon hosted by Second Sight Cinema and CineMaven's Essays From the Couch. There are a lot of great cou... Read full article

A Free Soul (1931, Clarence Brown)

By Andrew Wickliffe on Oct 3, 2015 From The Stop Button

The first hour of A Free Soul is this extremely engaging, if occasionally melodramatic, story about Norma Shearer and Lionel Barrymore. They’re rebellious blue bloods–Barrymore’s Shearer’s father and he’s raised her to be an independent woman. He’s a defense attor... Read full article

Pre-Code vs Post-Code: "A Free Soul" and "The Girl Who Had Everything"

By David on Dec 26, 2014 From The Man on the Flying Trapeze

Adela Rogers St. Johns's novel "A Free Soul" was filmed twice -- once in 1931, under its original title, and again in 1953 as "The Girl Who Had Everything." In both cases the female leads were played by MGM royalty -- Norma Shearer and Elizabeth Taylor, respectively. The character they play is the ... Read full article

A Free Soul (1931) (2)

By Angela on Nov 18, 2012 From Hollywood Revue

Jan Ashe (Norma Shearer) and her father Stephen(Lionel Barrymore) have a very close relationship.  Even though a lot of their family judges Stephen for his alcoholism, Jan stands by him every step of the way. When she and Stephen are invited to a family dinner, Jan’s grandmother asks her to ke... Read full article

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Quotes from

[after Ace and Jan are shot at, he takes her to his hideaway]
Ace Wilfong, Gangster Defendant: Slouch, tell her why the Hardy mob tried to fix me up. Tell her the facts, Slouch.
Slouch: Well, the mug that was rubbed out, Miss, was a snooper of the chief's running with the Hardy mob, slipping us the lowdown. Hardy gets hep to it and he puts the rat on the spot. They nab the boss's "kelly" and plants it. Your old man jaws him out and the Hardy mob grabs the typewriters and the ukeleles.

Stephen Ashe, Defense Attorney: [to Jan] I've had to drink as I've had to breathe, and you know it!

Ace Wilfong, Gangster Defendant: Mr. Ashe, a guy like me has to ride with lady luck. A squealer leaves his pals in plenty of trouble.
Stephen Ashe, Defense Attorney: Hmm, I see. You want to go to the gallows with your mouth shut.

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Facts about

In the outdoor location sequence where the donkey chases James Gleason, the actor, not a stuntman, is clearly knocked down by the animal, a scene which clearly wasn't planned as Norma Shearer's reaction attests.
The film ranked as ninth best picture in 1935 by the annual Film Daily poll of critics.
When the final version of the movie went before Hollywood censors, they demanded that MGM cut the scene where Norma Shearer lays on the bed and suggestively asks Clark Gable to put his arms around her. The studio ignored the demand and released the film uncut.
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Next Airing on TCM
Free Soul, A (1931) Mon. 24 Sep. 03:15 PM EST

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Best Actor Oscar 1930/31

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Also directed by Clarence Brown

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Also produced by Clarence Brown

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Also released in 1931

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