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The Right of Way (1931)

Snobbish attorney Charles 'Beauty' Steele loses his wife due to his drinking and his heirs at the same time that his brother-in-law absconds with funds belonging to one of Steele's clients.... See full summary »


Frank Lloyd (uncredited)


Gilbert Parker (based on the novel by) (as Sir Gilbert Parker), Francis Edward Faragoh (screen adaptation)


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Complete credited cast:
Conrad Nagel ... Charley 'Beauty' Steele
Loretta Young ... Rosalie Evantural
Fred Kohler ... Joseph Portugais
William Janney ... Billy Wantage
Snitz Edwards ... Luis Trudel
George C. Pearce ... The Cure (as George Pearce)
Halliwell Hobbes ... The Siegneur (as Holliwell Hobbes)
Olive Tell ... Kathleen
Brandon Hurst ... Crown Attorney
Yola d'Avril ... Suzette


Snobbish attorney Charles 'Beauty' Steele loses his wife due to his drinking and his heirs at the same time that his brother-in-law absconds with funds belonging to one of Steele's clients. In search of the thief, Steele is attacked and left for dead. He is rescued by a kindly couple, but suffers from amnesia. He starts life afresh and is happy, until the return of his memory sends him back to resolve his old involvements. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

7 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Completed in 1930, and reviewed in Photoplay Magazine August 1930 (on the newstands in July), release was delayed until February 1931. See more »


Yola d'Avrils character name onscreen is "Suzette," but she is called only 'Suzanne." See more »


Version of The Right of Way (1920) See more »


Nocturne No. 2 in E-Flat Minor, Op. 9 No.2
(1830-1) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano by Olive Tell
See more »

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User Reviews

Decent Character Study
15 December 2005 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A beautiful young woman influences a callous lawyer into regaining THE RIGHT OF WAY to moral decency.

Conrad Nagel dominates this little soap opera, based on Sir Gilbert Parker's novel, with his highly melodramatic performance as a hardhearted Quebecois lawyer who exhibits an enormous distaste for nearly every other human being. His behavior would repulse the viewer, were it not that his acting is so over the top that it becomes quite a bit of fun to watch.

Beautiful Loretta Young appears rather late in the story and ushers in the best scenes of the film, when Nagel is suffering from amnesia. Their moments together, as she cares for him, are touchingly tender.

A small group of character actors add much to their supporting roles: Olive Tell as Nagel's distraught wife; William Janney as her pathetic brother; Fred Kohler as the backwoodsman who saves Nagel's life; Halliwell Hobbes as a benevolent seigneur who loves Miss Young; little Snitz Edwards as a village tailor; and George C. Pearce as a kindly priest.

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