An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director:

Writers:

(from the book by), (dialogue continuity) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Private Lives (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Reginald Denny
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of disparate travelers are caught are thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the start of WWII.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
Night Nurse (1931)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier
Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore
Possessed (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ambitious factory Girl Marion Martin meets a handsome well-to-do, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane
Red Dust (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The owner of a rubber plantation becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employees.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John has led a solitary life for thirty years since the death of Moonyeen Clare. But now Owens, a close friend, insists that he care for his niece, Kathleen, orphaned when her parents were ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Min and Bill (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Min, the owner of a dockside hotel, is forced to make difficult decisions about the future of Nancy, the young woman she took in as an infant.

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Jordan
Saratoga (1937)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After winning a stud farm in lieu of gambling debts, bookie Duke Bradley turns an eye to the daughter of the now deceased gambler and her millionaire fiancée.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Ace Wilfong
...
Eddie
Lucy Beaumont ...
Grandma Ashe
Edit

Storyline

Stephen Ashe, an upper class alcoholic defense attourney, successfully defends local mobster Ace Wilfong in a murder case. After his daughter Jan Ashe breaks her engagement to polo player Dwight Winthrop and starts an affair with Wilfong, she finds that the liason is not easily severed when she wants out. Winthrop earns Miss Ashe's true affections by killing Wilfong to break his grip on her. Now the question is, can Stephen Ashe save Winthrop with an impassioned defense speech to the jury? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Free Woman With A Free Soul See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Free Souls  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Guinness Book of World Records (2002), the movie holds the record for the longest take in a commercial film, the climactic courtroom scene at 14 minutes. Since a reel of camera film only lasts 10 minutes, it was achieved by using more than one camera. See more »

Goofs

While racing in a convertible roadster with his mistress, Gable is wearing a wide-brimmed fedora, which, if true, would have flown off his head almost immediately upon acceleration. Guys driving roadsters in those days wore tight-fitting caps to prevent this from happening. See more »

Quotes

Ace Wilfong, Gangster Defendant: Now, let me lay it on the line for you. She tossed all the ritz overboard months ago. She came to my place and she stayed there, you get that? She's mine. She belongs to me.
See more »


Soundtracks

By the River Sainte Marie
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music during the restaurant scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lionel Barrymore Gives An Oscar Winning Acting Lesson
23 April 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

They are alike, this father & daughter. Liberal, passionate, willful - they live life on their own terms, disdaining their narrow-minded relations. Few regrets & even fewer apologies cloud either conscious - yet each harbors a character trait that threatens to destroy them. Hers is emotional instability; his, acute alcoholism. Although both will make bad choices that will haunt them, each will continue to see their reflection in the other, unique & individual, A FREE SOUL.

Based on a book by Adela Rogers St. Johns, Norma Shearer gets top billing in this aged but enjoyable soap opera, and she is very good, turning on the histrionics most effectively. But it is Lionel Barrymore who gets full honors - and a Best Actor Oscar - for his portrayal of her brilliant, tragic, lawyer father. Masterfully, he dominates his every scene. His final appearance, a tempestuous summation to a murder trial jury, is considered a classic.

Playing the two very different men in Shearer's life are Clark Gable & Leslie Howard. Gable is excellent, oozing the virility that was about to make him a huge star. Howard deftly underplays his less flashy role and becomes the film's calm center. James Gleason as Barrymore's factotum, and Lucy Beaumont as Barrymore's patrician mother, both give memorable performances. Film mavens will spot Edward Brophy as one of Gable's henchmen & master stutterer Roscoe Ates as the man in the washroom window.


40 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
14 Minute Monologue? More like 4 minutes... belikemichaeldotcom
Available on DVD as of 3/2008 Loxi
That was LIONEL not JOHN oldmotem
Discuss A Free Soul (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?