Produced by Warner Bros. in 1934, A Modern Hero was the only American talkie directed by the great German filmmaker G. W. Pabst. Richard Barthelmess plays Pierre, the bastard son of blowzy, besotted circus performer Mme. Azais (Marjorie Rambeau). Fiercely ambitious, Pierre enters the world of automobile manufacturing, rising to the heights of success by callously using wealthy women to get ahead. After breaking one heart after another, Pierre is finally beaten at his own game by a disgruntled young lady who walks out on him, forcing him to admit that he's an utter flop as a human being. Jean Muir co-stars as Joanna, seduced and abandoned early in the proceedings, while other women crucial to Pierre's ascension are played by Veree Teasdale and Florence Eldredge. Based on a novel by Louis Bromfield, A Modern Hero has been correctly assessed by one of the director's devotees as having "little of Pabst in it."