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The Trespasser
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The Trespasser (1929) More at IMDbPro »

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Edmund Goulding (written by)
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Release Date:
11 November 1929 (USA) See more »
A stenographer who works for a lawyer falls in love with and marries a wealthy young man. His family has the marraige annulled... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Gloria, Your Magic Spell... See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)

Gloria Swanson ... Marion Donnell
Robert Ames ... Jack Merrick
Purnell Pratt ... Hector Ferguson
Henry B. Walthall ... Fuller
Wally Albright ... Jack Merrick (as Wally Albright Jr.)
William Holden ... John Merrick, Sr.
Blanche Friderici ... Miss Potter - Nurse (as Blanche Frederici)
Kay Hammond ... Catherine 'Flip' Merrick
Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Ferguson
Marcelle Corday ... Blanche - the Maid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Armetta ... Barber (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Reporter (uncredited)

Billy Bevan ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Fred - the Moving Man (uncredited)
Allan Cavan ... Doctor (uncredited)
Richard Cramer ... Reporter (uncredited)
Bobby Dunn ... Milkman (uncredited)

Stuart Erwin ... Reporter (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Butler (uncredited)
Lloyd Whitlock ... Board Member (uncredited)

Directed by
Edmund Goulding 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Edmund Goulding  written by

Produced by
Edmund Goulding .... producer
Joseph P. Kennedy .... executive producer
Original Music by
Josiah Zuro 
Cinematography by
George Barnes 
Gregg Toland 
Film Editing by
Cyril Gardner 
Costume Design by
Judge Johnson 
Ann Morgan 
Production Management
Harry Poppe .... unit production manager
Sound Department
Earl A. Wolcott .... sound technician
Other crew
Laura Hope Crews .... dialogue coach

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Did You Know?

Gloria Swanson originally hired writer/director Edmund Goulding to help her complete Queen Kelly (1929), the unfinished silent epic she'd started with Erich von Stroheim. After he'd spent months editing Von Stroheim's footage, Goulding persuaded Swanson to make this film instead. He wrote the script in three weeks, the movie was in theaters by the end of the year and Swanson recouped enough money to pay off "Queen Kelly"'s backers.See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as That Certain Woman (1937)See more »
SerenadeSee more »


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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Gloria, Your Magic Spell..., 17 December 2011
Author: RBarr from United States

None of us should pretend that THE TRESPASSER isn't now, 82 years after its time, incredibly creaky. It is. But it's also, for a 1929 talkie, darned well made, with any number of clever cinematic touches and, unlike most 1929 dramas, a well-done musical score. Just contrast it with the other big 1929 woman's picture, the arid and primitive MADAME X, made a few months earlier. Obviously a number of modern viewers won't make the necessary allowances, as some of the other reviews here show. It isn't always easy to view an early talkie sympathetically, especially when The Marx Bros. aren't involved. But if TRESPASSER is trite in many ways, and relies on at least one outlandish coincidence, it should be seen, still, as a phenomenally astute way to introduce one of the biggest silent stars to sound film. It's fascinating to watch Swanson feeling her way into the talkies. Sometimes she's perfectly naturalistic, other times she declaims like an old-school stage star, and sometimes her silent-movie roots show very clearly with some too- grand gestures. In her best sound film performances, MUSIC IN THE AIR and, of course, SUNSET BOULEVARD, she used aspects of the old over-the- top silent style to great effect; here, not playing a grandiose diva, she can seem more self-conscious about the whole thing. But, more than anything else, she's an first-rate trouper, working hard to give an adoring public every bit of its money's worth. And she obviously worked very well with director/writer Edmund Goulding, who she helped (and also with Laura Hope Crews) to put together this autobiographically-tinged soap opera. (Gloria as the mistress of a tycoon? See the very first frames of the credits : "Joseph P. Kennedy Presents...") And though her singing isn't necessarily presented in a subtle way, it's terrific. Audiences in 1929 were bowled over to find out that she could sing as well (or even better) than she could talk, and it's easy to see why. Note, too, that she clears her throat before starting "Love, Your Spell is Everywhere," proving that she was doing it live on the set. Her performance of Toselli's Serenade is lovely too, especially the way Goulding has her singing off camera before entering, still singing, in a drop-dead gown. It's just too bad that both performances are somewhat truncated, unlike the commercial recordings she made of them. We shouldn't expect THE TRESPASSER to be seen, today, as anything other than a museum piece. Too many of its dramatics are too unsubtle or rudimentary for it to work without some necessary caveats. But as an antique, and a small, authentic piece of film (and political!) history, it's extremely engaging, as crafted by an intelligent and resourceful director for a still-brilliant, one-of-a-kind star.

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