Live piano by Philip C. Carli.
Man, Woman and Sin is one the silent era’s most “personal” films in many ways, and remains one of MGM’s most unusual productions of any period. Based on the poem “The Widow In the Bye-Street” by English Poet Laureate John Masefield, it was a passionately wished-for project by star John Gilbert, who plays a naive young reporter whose life is shattered by an affair with the mistress of the newspaper’s owner. Distinctively sensitive director Monta Bell brought forth brilliant performances from Gilbert, veterans Marc McDermott and Gladys Brockwell, and especially the legendary and luminous Jeanne Eagels in one of her very few film appearances. Full of atmosphere, tension, and conflicted passions, this is an extraordinarily “adult” and psychologically complex American film for its time, and the fullest expression of John Gilbert’s intellectual emotionalism as an actor and creator.