A Free Soul


Release Date 1931-06-20
Age Rating

A Free Soul

A Free Soul is a 1931 Pre-Code film which tells the story of an alcoholic defense attorney who must defend his daughter's ex-boyfriend on a charge of murdering the mobster she had started a relationship with; a mobster whom her father had previously got an acquittal for on a murder charge. A Free Soul stars Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, and Clark Gable. The movie was adapted by Becky Gardiner and John Meehan from the play by Willard Mack, which was based on the novel by Adela Rogers St. Johns. It was directed by Clarence Brown. A Free Soul became famous for a sequence where Barrymore delivers a monologue that is said to be the main reason he won the Academy Award for Best Actor that year. Gable made such an impression in the role of a gangster who pushes Shearer around that he was catapulted from supporting player to leading man, a position he held for the rest of his career. A Free Soul was released on DVD by Warner Home Video on March 8, 2008, as one of five Pre-Code films in the "TCM Archives - Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 2" DVD box set.

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Actors & Characters

Norma Shearer Norma Shearer Jan Ashe Jan Ashe
Clark Gable Clark Gable Ace Wilfong Ace Wilfong
Lionel Barrymore Lionel Barrymore
Leslie Howard Leslie Howard
Edward Brophy Edward Brophy
James Gleason James Gleason


Clarence Brown Director
Irving Thalberg Producer
Adela Rogers St. Johns Writer
Becky Gardiner Writer
Willard Mack Writer
John Meehan Writer