An American Tragedy (1931) poster

An American Tragedy (1931)

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1h 01 min

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Having just reached adulthood, Clyde Griffiths has always lamented his lot in life as the only son of poor missionaries. He has gotten a peripheral view of society life, to which he aspires, in his work as a bellhop at an upscale hotel. If being truthful to himself, he would admit that he lacks moral strength, often taking the easiest but perhaps not the most ethical path to protect himself. Forced to move from place to place out of circumstance, he ends up in Lycurgus, New York working at the Samuel Griffiths Collar and Shirt factory, Samuel Griffiths being his paternal uncle. Not knowing his uncle or his family, Clyde only wants a chance to get ahead, not expecting anything else from his wealthy relations. After an apprenticeship, Clyde ends up as the foreman in the stamping department. Despite a company rule forbidding foremen to fraternize with staff, especially those working in the same department, Clyde begins an affair, a clandestine one out of necessity, with Roberta Alden, who works in the stamping department under him. Their love is an obsessive one, made all the more powerful by its clandestine nature. That changes for Clyde when he meets, through his wealthy relations, society belle Sondra Finchley; the two immediately fall in love with each other. The extra draw of S