IMDb > The Trespasser (1929)
The Trespasser
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Trespasser (1929) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   986 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Edmund Goulding (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Trespasser on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 November 1929 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
What a disappointment See more (10 total) »

Cast

  (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:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Soundtrack:
SerenadeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
What a disappointment, 29 October 2008
Author: Igenlode Wordsmith from England

Ouch.

In her autobiography, Gloria Swanson recalls this film as a glorious success amidst a run of relative failure -- critically acclaimed, financially profitable ('my cheapest picture since I became a star,' she reminisces proudly), and responsible for winning her an Oscar nomination. For my part, I probably wouldn't resent it quite so much if I hadn't had to fork out seventeen pounds for the humiliating privilege of sitting through such absolute tosh in the company of a guest to whom I'd recommended the film on the basis of Miss Swanson's estimation of her own performance...

The plot is pure Mills & Boon; outlandish coincidences, improbable motivations, bosom-heaving and fainting, and characters killed and injured at a flick of a coin for the sake of the plot. Characterisation is paper-thin, compensated for by a wealth of over-emoting; the dialogue is pretty bad and, alas, the delivery is worse -- huge slices of ham all round, with Miss Swanson perhaps the most flagrant offender. This film wouldn't know 'subtle' if it were hit over the head with it, yet somehow it contrives to be both wildly outlandish and tediously predictable. Long before the end I was counting the minutes -- 'oh no, not another reel'.

Gloria Swanson is really a little too old for her role here, and slips at times into the grotesque, overplaying her facial expressions and employing a throbbing, artificial vocal delivery that -- the inevitable comparison has to be made -- is all too reminiscent of her caricature act in "Sunset Boulevard" . Robert Ames is fairly wooden, while William Holden as his father pulls out all the stops to deliver a performance reminiscent of Germont senior in "La Traviata": indeed, the whole thing has something of the (soap) operatic about it. Kay Hammond is winsome and -- especially in her first scene -- wince-making as 'poor little Flip'; Blanche Friderici provides a Cockney nurse worthy of Dick Van Dyke, and all in all the best performance is turned in by Wally Albright Jr as the unselfconscious three-year-old.

The only parts of the dialogue which really rang true to me were the early office scenes and the scene with the reporters. The film was billed as a 'pre-Code' production, but fits the bill solely inasmuch as it alludes to illegitimacy (carefully avoided) and the status of a kept woman; it has nothing of the hard-boiled wisecracks and street realism of early sound productions such as "Virtue" (1932 -- Carole Lombard is a prostitute trying to go straight) or "Baby Face" (1933 -- Barbara Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top of a corporation). One gets the impression that the scriptwriters were out of their social and emotional depth with this material.

Original audiences were said to have tears pouring down their faces at the conclusion of the film, which I won't here give away. I'm afraid that the only discernible response from this audience was waves of giggles, and while I wasn't one of the offenders I could see only too clearly the cause. It's possible for a film and actors to pull off the most preposterous of plots and/or dialogue, but unfortunately this production fails to convince on almost all levels.

"Beyond the Rocks", the Rudolph Valentino/Gloria Swanson rediscovery that featured largely in an earlier London Film festival, sported a similarly extravagant plot but had at least a smidgeon of emotional depth to the characters -- it also has the inestimable advantage of silence. I'm afraid that to my eyes (and ears!) "The Trespasser" turns out to embody almost all the urban legends about silent-screen stars stuck on a sound-stage and required to talk; the writers don't know how to produce credible dialogue and the performers don't know how to deliver it.

Early talkies -- and even part-talkies -- can be good. Sadly, this isn't one of them.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (10 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Trespasser (1929)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Continuity error and ending george-201-962728
Is this available on DVD or VHS? elvisgr6
Silent version Moeilijker
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Fury The Drag-Net The Age of Innocence The Women Carrie
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.