So, this was the fourth film Bette Davis was in and also her final film in her first year of acting, 1931. Her role here is once again fairly small, though she is the female romantic lead. The romance is a side story however as the bulk of the story centers on small-town preacher Seth Parker and his travails in Jonesport, Maine. This movie was actually based on a very successful radio show starring Seth Parker and the radio actor, Phillips Lord, portrayed Parker in the film as well, even though Parker is an elderly man and Lord was only twenty-nine at the time and the makeup is surprisingly well done; I certainly wouldn’t have recognized Lord as the guy playing Parker when I tracked down a picture of Lord later. But this film is really unbearably bad. Of course, it was a very bad print that I watched; this one’s very hard to find and I ended up buying a Spanish DVD that I then watched on the region free drive on my computer. Various hijinks and soap-opera-esque misadventures go on in the town and Parker dispenses really hackneyed homespun “wisdom” and then everything wraps up in a heartwarming fashion. But it’s just horrifying. It’s easily the worst movie I’ve seen this year. The performances are terrible, the stories are stupid and the logic of the film is just unbelievable. It’s really breathtaking how grimly, unrelentingly brutal this movie is. It just implacably destroys your will to live by just plodding on and on and on through inane, illogical, poorly written scene after scene with nothing of any sense to make of them either individually or in the aggregate. And just a special note for Bennett Kilpack who plays a country bumpkin who, even by the dire standards of this movie, is gobsmackingly awful. I have never wanted to hit a character in a movie before, much less hit one in his stupid, stupid, slack-jawed, snickering mouth with a tire iron, but boy did I hate this guy. Utterly without the slightest merit. 0 stars.
tl;dr – film about wise old preacher in small-town Maine is utterly without the slightest merit, one of the worst films I have ever seen and uniformly annoying; enragingly awful. 0 stars.