Other Men’s Women is the 1931 pre-code film directed by William A. Wellman. Bill and Jack are railroad workers and best friends. However, Bill falls in love with Jack’s wife, Lily, and she responds to his feelings. Jack finds out and they have a huge fight over Lily. As a result of the fight, Jack is left permanently blind and unable to work. Bill feels horrible about this. Jack feels that he’ll be nothing more than a burden to Lily. One night, the river floods and Bill decides to sacrifice himself to make it up to them. But his friend has an ace up his sleeve.
This melodrama stands out by showing the consequences of falling in love with somebody who is already in a monogamous relationship. It helps that Bill is genuinely remorseful and wants to atone for his sins. However, the movie has the nasty message that disabled people are nothing but burdens on their loved ones and should kill themselves. While not stated outright, the fact that Jack heroically sacrifices himself does encourage that implication. Although it’s amazing that he’s able to drive the train despite his blindness. Honolulu film fans who can handle the unfortunate implications should rent it first.
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