Frisco Jenny is the 1932 pre-code melodrama directed by William A. Wellman. Jenny wants to marry Dan, but her father forbids it. However, an earthquake kills both of the men just after Jenny finds out she’s pregnant. She decides to become a prostitute in order to earn money. When the police question her for a murder, she gives her son, Dan Jr. to a childless couple for safekeeping. When she returns to take him back, she changes her mind when it turns out that he’s bonded with his foster parents. Jenny still keeps track of his accomplishments. When Dan runs for district attorney, she secretly helps him win. However, when Steve threatens to tell the truth to Dan, she kills him. What will happen now?
It’s your standard melodrama, although it’s well-done. The movie doesn’t waste time getting into the meat of the story. Jenny turns out to be not such a bad person after all, since she’s willing to sacrifice her own life for her son. Although Dan could still find out later who his birth mother is, since Steve isn’t the only one to know he’s Jenny’s son, rendering her sacrifice needless. Still, it’s interesting that Jenny will commit criminal acts, but not if it hurts her son. Honolulu film fans should rent this movie first.
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