6 user 2 critic

A Modern Hero (1934)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 21 April 1934 (USA)
Pierre is a young and handsome circus rider whose mother has long tolerated his amorous adventures but becomes genuinely concerned when he actually falls in love. She reveals to him that ... See full summary »


Georg Wilhelm Pabst (as G.W. Pabst)


Louis Bromfield (novel), Gene Markey (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Richard Barthelmess ... Pierre Radier aka Paul Rader
Jean Muir ... Joanna Ryan Croy
Marjorie Rambeau ... Mme. Azais
Verree Teasdale ... Lady Claire Benston
Florence Eldridge ... Leah Ernst
Dorothy Burgess ... Hazel Flint Radier
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Henry Mueller
William Janney ... Young Pierre Croy
Arthur Hohl ... Homer Flint
Theodore Newton ... Elmer Croy
J.M. Kerrigan ... Mr. Ryan
Maidel Turner ... Aunt Clara Weingartner
Mickey Rentschler ... Young Pierre as a Child
Richard Tucker ... Mr. Eggelson
Judith Vosselli ... Mrs. Eggelson
Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A one-armed circus animal tamer regains his son and the confidence he lost along with his wife.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, George 'Spanky' McFarland
Bengal Tiger (1936)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Cliff Ballenger, the wild-animal trainer for the circus had no fear of "Satan," the fiercest man-eating tiger in captivity, but the creature hated its master and longed to tear the big man to pieces with its rendering claws and fangs.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Barton MacLane, June Travis, Warren Hull
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Drama about a problem child and her problem parents.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Bonita Granville, Dolores Costello, Donald Crisp
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nora Moran, a young woman with a difficult and tragic past, is sentenced to die for a murder that she did not commit. She could easily reveal the truth and save her own life, if only it ... See full summary »

Director: Phil Goldstone
Stars: Zita Johann, John Miljan, Alan Dinehart
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a villainous land owner with underworld connections seeks to steal the property of an old Spanish family.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Dolores Costello, Josef Swickard, Anders Randolf
Wicked Woman (1953)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Drifting floozy Billie Nash gets a bar job where she seduces the owner's husband by convincing him to defraud his drunkard wife in order to elope together to Mexico but a sleazy neighbor with designs on Billie jeopardizes her plans.

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Beverly Michaels, Richard Egan, Percy Helton
Foxfire (1955)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Arizona, during the 1950s, privileged white girl Amanda Lawrence marries half-Apache mining engineer Jonathan Dartland who dreams of finding gold in an old abandoned Apache mine.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Jane Russell, Jeff Chandler, Dan Duryea
Certificate: Passed History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A nobleman studying for the priesthood abandons his vocation in 18th Century France when he falls in love with a beautiful, but reluctant, courtesan.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: John Barrymore, Dolores Costello, Warner Oland
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A guilt-ridden U.S. Marine returns to Cuba to try to find his illegitimate child.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Lawrence Tibbett, Lupe Velez, Ernest Torrence
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Los Angeles socialite kills a man while home alone one night and claims he was an intruder she did not know. It seems like a clear case of self defense until the story hits the papers and people connected to the dead man come forward.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Expensive Women is a 1931 Pre-Code talking film drama directed by silent film veteran Hobart Henley and stars Dolores Costello. It was Costello's final film as a leading lady and star for ... See full summary »

Director: Hobart Henley
Stars: Dolores Costello, H.B. Warner, Warren William
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A struggling circus finds salvation in the form of an exciting new twist on their high-wire act.

Director: John Harlow
Stars: Ben Lyon, Anne Crawford, David Farrar


Pierre is a young and handsome circus rider whose mother has long tolerated his amorous adventures but becomes genuinely concerned when he actually falls in love. She reveals to him that he's the son of a wealthy man, whom she could not marry because of the circus life. But Pierre uses this knowledge as a springboard to wealth and fame himself, as an automobile maker in the early days of the industry, and as a munitions dealer when war breaks out. But his ambition seems to take its toll on all his relationships, and he seems unaware that he is over-reaching himself... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Did You Know?


Because of its age, its pre-code situations, and the lack of contemporary "name value" of its leading players, television broadcasts were initially infrequent. Its earliest documented telecasts took place in Columbus, Ohio Thursday 4 July 1957 on WTVN (Channel 6), in Sacramento CA Wednesday 24 July 1957 on WBET (Channel 10), and in Elkhart IN Wednesday 28 August 1957 on WSJV (Channel 52). It now resides in the library of Turner Classic Movies and receives an occasionally airing on TCM. See more »


At the beginning of the film, Pierre is shown at the circus getting on a horse and going around the ring counter-clockwise. But, in the close-up shots, he is going around clockwise. See more »


Mme. Azais: You better go now, Dearie. I'll be getting drunk shortly. And I ain't a pretty sight when I'm drunk.
See more »


The Billboard
Music by John Klohr
Played when Pierre performs his equestrian act
See more »

User Reviews

European Irony
29 April 2020 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Richard Barthelmess is a rider in the circus. He wants to get out. He has, he tells Jean Muir before he gets her pregnant, big plans -- apparently he wants to marry the daughter of the richest man in the state; at least, that's what will happen. When he gets her with child, she is magnanimous about it and marries another man. Then it's off to nepotistic success for Barthelmess.

In his only American film, G.W. Pabst produces an ironic circus picture -- how very European! -- and gets some fine performances in a movie that looks slightly disjointed, There are lots of despicable archetypes, from Miss Muir's drunken father, to Barthelmess' vaguely Nietzschean mother.

It's all ironic andfutile, and apparently Pabst so disliked the American way of making movies that he fled back to Europe. Barthelmess was aging out of his star persona, and could no longer sustain artistic efforts. Too bad on both accounts. The movie, while fascinating, failed to excite at the box office.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

21 April 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herói Moderno See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed