The Story of Temple Drake (1933)


“That Mr. Judge would sure know more about his daughter if he did her laundry!” – Maid

Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – The daughter of the local judge accidentally gets involved in the life of a notorious criminal and must try and find a way out of that life.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew nothing about before watching it and came across by accident while seeking out new movies to watch from the early 1930’s.

The overall premise is quite interesting as they try to show what can happen to someone when they get mixed up with criminal elements while trying to rebel against friends and family.

Miriam Hopkins does a wonderful job in the title role and really makes us believe all of the hardships that she must endure here.

WE get to see how far she needs to let her character go before she ends up reaching her breaking point while everything around here begins to deteriorate at a fast rate.

The story is also partially deals with a courtroom case and these scenes are done quite well because they allow us so much more insight into everything that is transpiring around us.

In addition, it helps keep things feeling even more grounded in contrast to the scenes showing the work of the criminal elements in the story.

This movie was made during a very controversial time period for film and that explains why certain aspects of the story are only alluded to instead of showing them explicitly.

The novel that this film is based on didn’t have to deal with the censors of the time, so that venue allows for things to get quite risque.

Regardless, they do a nice job making sure that the audience really knows what is transpiring between these characters as things move along.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that tries to show the kind of trouble someone can get into while attempting to be rebellious to friends and family. Hopkins is great in the title role and she allows us to see how far her character can go as things begin to deteriorate around her. The courtroom scenes also help keep things grounded and let us learn so much more about what is truly going on. The fact that this film was made during a very conservative time explains the reasons why things aren’t as explicit here as they were in the novel this is based on, yet they still do a nice job conveying everything that transpires along the way. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – All of the drinking in movie was illegal at the time – U.S. release was May 6. 1933, whereas the repeal of Prohibition was not until December 5, 1933. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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