The Way of All Men

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The Way of All Men
The Way of All Men 1930 Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Frank Lloyd
Produced by Frank Lloyd
Written by Story:
Henning Berger
Bradley King
Starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Dorothy Revier
Noah Beery
Dorothy Mathews
Cinematography Sidney Hickox
Edited by Ray Curtiss
Distributed by First National Pictures: A Subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • September 7, 1930 (1930-09-07) (U.S.)
Running time
69 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Way of All Men (1930) is an all-talking pre-code drama film produced and released by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., and directed by Frank Lloyd. The movie stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Dorothy Revier, Noah Beery,and Dorothy Mathews. The film was based on the story, entitled The Sin Flood, by Henning Berger.



Billy Bear (Fairbanks) is a broker's clerk who has recently been fired because some information has been leaked to a rival broker. Billy goes to work with the rival broker, offering him valuable information about his former employer. Fairbanks falls in love with his employer's daughter, Edna (Mathews), a wealthy socialite. Billy abandons his old girlfriend, Poppy (Revier), who is a show girl. One a hot summer's day, Billy goes to a luxurious underground bar, run by Stratton (Beery). A tornado descends on the town, the river rises, and suddenly they find themselves trapped in the bar by a break in the levee which pours the flood waters through the streets of the town, which is situated below sea level.

A number of people flee into the bar just before the steel flood doors are closed and locked tight, making the place air-tight and safe from water. The film now focuses on the people trapped in the bar and how they act when they are facing circumstances where they are all facing death in a matter of hours. The majority of the trapped people completely change their normal way of acting and attempt to make amends for the things they regret having done. Billy asks Poppy for her forgiveness and professes his love for her. The two brokers, who have been life long enemies, shake hands. An ex-minister converts a crooked politician who had destroyed his home. Stratton's bartender confesses to him that he has been stealing money from the cash register. Stratton confesses that perhaps he hasn't been paying his bartender as much as he should have.

As everyone begins to realize that their oxygen is running out they decide to open the flood gates, preferring a quick death to a drawn out one. When the gates are open, everyone is surprise to find that the sun is shining and they are free from danger. The majority of those that were trapped quickly return to their original traits and old enmities renewed once again. Billy, however, does not go back on his promise of marrying Poppy and the two are happily united.

Foreign language versions[edit]

One Foreign Language Version of the 1930 version of The Way of All Men was produced. The German version was titled Die Maske fällt and was directed by William Dieterle.

Preservation status[edit]

No film elements are known to survive. The soundtrack, which was recorded on Vitaphone disks, may survive in private hands.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]