(Review lifted from my old Blogger page, circa 2010)
It would be easy to call King Vidor's 1933 pastorale, The Stranger's Return a kind of corn-pone Volpone, except that crochety patriarch Grampa Storr (Lionel Barrymore) feigns madness -- and not death itself -- as part of his inheritance games. Death, he knows, is coming soon enough, and what remains is getting his house in order.
That it's not cornpone -- despite the moral underpinnings and rural setting -- is due to the film's greater interest in the working out of unresolved issues among its characters than in its concerns about conventional right and wrong.
Arming the likes of Barrymore with a long stiff beard (that makes him look as fearsome…