Mini Pre-code Film Festival Presenting“A Free Soul” (1931)
Lionel Barrymore shines as Stephen Ashe, a brilliant alcoholic lawyer who successfully defends dashing gangster Ace Wilfong (Clark Gable) on a murder charge only to find that his headstrong daughter, Jan (Norma Shearer), has fallen in love with his client. Jan, a fun-loving socialite seeking freedom from her blue-blood upbring, is only too eager to dump her aristocratic boyfriend (Leslie Howard) for the no-good gangster. Barrymore gives a remarkable Oscar-winning performance culminating in a legendary courtroom scene that is powerful and deeply moving.
This is Gable's breakout film role, and the first time Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes) and Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) went head to head to win the leading lady's hand....with surprising results!