Best Movies by Farr
Kings Row Poster
Released Runtime Category
1942 127 Drama
Director Language
Sam Wood English
Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan

Kings Row

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What's it About

In Kings Row, a small American town ca. 1900, we track the fates of four young people, and watch malevolence and tragedy form on an idyllic horizon. Parris Mitchell and Drake McHugh (Cummings and Reagan) are boyhood friends whose lives take diverging paths in adulthood: Parris leaves Kings Row to study medicine, while the more carefree Drake stays behind. With Parris away, Drake's fortunes start to plummet. Luckily, he has the steadfast love of Randy (Sheridan), a beauty from the other side of the tracks. Meanwhile, Parris's professional success compensates for a less satisfying romantic life, as it's gradually revealed that Cassie (Betty Field), the girl he's adored since childhood, may be mentally unstable.

Why we love it

Rediscover the lost art of melodrama with Sam Wood's peerless "Kings Row." The film's strength lies in its subtle transformation from wholesome Americana into a dark tale of madness and evil, transcending any sentimental, dated attributes. Unquestionably, our 40th President did his finest screen work here, and Cummings fits the stolid, noble Parris to a tee. This combined with Sheridan's star-wattage and a top-notch Warners supporting cast (including Claude Rains, Judith Anderson, and Charles Coburn) makes Kings Row a town well worth visiting.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"