Odd Film but Innovative for its Time
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 06/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Sin of Nora Moran is an odd film about a woman (Zita Johann) who is about to be put to death for killing a man. The story is told through Nora's dreams, as she lapses into unconsciousness while awaiting her fate. Additional parts of the story are told by the district attorney (Alan Dinehart) who was involved in her case as he talks with the wife (Claire Du Brey) of Moran's lover (who is also the governor, played by Paul Cavanagh). The film uses the `narratage' technique first used the same year by Preston Sturges in `The Power and the Glory' which consists of voice-over narration and flashbacks and flashforwards. The film gets even more complex, with flashbacks within flashbacks, flashfowards within flashbacks, etc. Some of the visual techniques are quite impressive for 1933. An interesting story with an odd ending. The acting seems strangely unemotional considering the plot of the film or, perhaps, that was the point. Some of the conversations in the flashbacks indicate that the characters have been reliving the story again and again. Perhaps they are now devoid of most of their previous feelings. This film also includes several brief appearances from silent film legend Henry B. Walthall ("The Little Colonel" in Birth of a Nation) as Father Ryan. It runs a very fast-moving 65 minutes. An extra film is included with this DVD release."
Sin is worth seeking out
Michael Favareille | Pinole, CA United States | 08/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD for the Nora Moran film & have yet to watch Prison Train. The Sin of Nora Moran is quite a work with a complex story told in a compact 64 minutes. A good example of a pre-Code that was made outside of the major studios and worth checking out. Transfer (this was a restoration project) is excellent and miles better than how other non-studio pictures from this period are handled on video (with the exception of Kino's product)."