Main Street (1923)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Warner Bros. was hoping that this epic rendition of the Sinclair Lewis novel would become a blockbuster to rival the big releases from United Artists (Robin Hood) and Paramount (The Covered Wagon). That it didn't come close says more about the competition, really, than it does about this honestly well-produced effort. When sophisticated, artistic city girl Carol Milford (Florence Vidor) marries Will Kennicott, a rather dull small town doctor (Monte Blue), it's clear right away that they are mis-matched. Although Carol moves with Kennicott to his hometown of Gopher Prairie, she can't quite leave the city behind. She sets out to educate the townsfolk, who not only have no desire for an "education," they believe she is putting on airs. Although Kennicott adores Carol, he doesn't understand her needs. Only one person, Erik Valborg (Robert Gordon), is willing to listen to Carol and they become friendly. Erik falls in love with her and tries to convince her to run away with him. She refuses, but their meeting is interrupted by Erik's father, Adolph (Noah Beery Sr.), who has never liked Carol or her husband. He denounces Carol in front of the whole town, but Will immediately comes to her defense. He makes the crowd ashamed of their ill feelings towards his wife, and Erik completely exonerates her from any wrongdoing. Carol finally comes to realize how deeply her husband loves her, and to accept the fact that people just can't be changed. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
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