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Man’s Castle

  • Directed by Frank Borzage
  • United States, 1933, 75 mins., English

Frank Borzage developed a successful career as a silent film director at 20th Century Fox with such films as Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, and Lucky Star—but by 1933 was a free agent, directing for many of the major studios. Man’s Castle follows two wayward yet kindred souls on the streets of New York: Bill (Spencer Tracy), a down-on-his-luck homeless man who knows how to put on society airs, and Trina (Loretta Young), a younger, desperate homeless woman. Bill and Trina are clearly on the same economic wavelength, but Bill has a nomadic streak, while Trina wants to settle down and have a baby. The two become tangled in a web of crime and deceit while simply trying to get by. “Right when you think you know where Man’s Castle is going, it swerves into new emotional territory. Borzage’s concluding show of faith is one of the great revelations of American cinema.”—Kyle A. Westphal, Cine-file Chicago. “Borzage finds sanctified tenderness in the poignant absurdities and grubby brutalities of gutter-level striving. He veers from humor to heartbreak in record time.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker.

Genres: Melodrama