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Flesh

(1932 b 96')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A German wrestler takes in an American woman from prison and marries her, while she pines for her lover, who is pretending to be her brother.

Laura Nash (Karen Morley) is released from prison in Germany; but her accomplice fails to shows up. Polakai (Wallace Beery) wins a wrestling match and promises to pay Herman (Jean Hersholt) for her dinner. Laura tells Polakai she has no home and goes with him. He tries to clean up his place and breaks through a door in order to sleep in another room. Mrs. Herman (Greta Meyer) demands that Laura go, but Polakai says he would go too; so they give Laura a room. The Hermans tell Polakai they are going to America. Herman tells Laura that Polakai wants to marry her. Polakai finds Laura taking his money; she says her brother is in prison, and Polakai offers to help. Laura kisses Nicky (Ricardo Cortez), and Polakai welcomes him. Laura tells Nicky that their accomplice left and that Polakai paid his fine. Laura wants to leave with Nicky, but he tells her to marry Polakai. Laura says she was let out for being pregnant. Polakai gives Nicky 1500 marks, and Nicky leaves alone. Laura agrees to marry Polakai and cries.

Polakai wrestles and then visits Laura and her baby boy. Polakai and Laura go to America and are greeted by the Hermans. Herman takes Polakai to Joe Willard (John Miljan), and Polakai gets back at three men. Nicky calls on Laura, who tells him it's finished. Nicky says he did it for her. Polakai comes in, tells Nicky he is champion, and shows him the child. Nicky manages Polakai, and Willard tells Polakai that he has to win or lose as he says. Nicky goes along, but Polakai objects. Willard gives Polakai a match but tells Dolan (Edward Brophy) to referee. Polakai loses a decision and argues that he won't "wrestle crooked." Laura tells a romantic Nicky that he won't get away with it. Polakai wants to go back to Germany, but Laura won't go. Polakai hopes to work for Herman, and Nicky leaves.

Laura with her baby goes to Nicky and kisses him. Nicky says he is broke and asks Laura to get Polakai to sign with Willard. Nicky makes Laura hide before Polakai comes in looking for her. Polakai says he would kill for Laura, and Nicky tells Laura to go back. She refuses until Nicky slaps her. Polakai apologizes to Laura, and she asks him to let Nicky manage him. Polakai wrestles and wins three times. Herman tells Polakai that he and Germans have bet on him in the championship match. Polakai drinks and tells Laura that he is ashamed; she blames herself. Willard tells Nicky that Polakai wants to withdraw. Nicky finds Polakai drunk in bed. Laura says that Polakai will win, and Nicky knocks her down and threatens her. Laura tells Polakai the truth, and he strangles Nicky. Polakai wrestles the champion and is losing badly but then wins. Polakai is arrested for murder and is visited in jail by Laura, who says everyone is on his side. Polakai tells Laura that he loves her.

In this triangle Polakai loves Laura, who loves Nicky, who loves himself. Greed in professional wrestling is exposed. Laura ends up separated from her love by prison bars just as she had failed to stop loving Nicky and could not really love Polakai, who must suffer for letting jealousy use his strength to murder.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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