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Big, bold and powerful, Sweepings tells the decades-spanning tale of a self-made man whose dream of a family dynasty crashes around him. Lionel Barrymore ages from youth to elderly patriarch as Daniel Pardway, who builds a department-store empire in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire. He dotes on his four offspring -- but when the time comes to turn over the business, he discovers that none of them has the character or grit to take up the reins. John Cromwell directs with the emotional conviction he would bring the following year to Of Human Bondage. Slavko Vorkapich, whose masterly visual compressions also grace David Copperfield and The Good Earth, creates the acclaimed montages that mark the passage of time and events. And among the cast is Gloria Stuart, who played the older Rose in Titanic 63 years after her work in Sweepings. “Fine acting, inventive direction and camerawork make this something special.”

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WAA380185 Sweepings DVD (1933/Lionel Barrymore) $19.95