(play) (as Franz Molnar), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bad Girl (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
Lucky Star (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
Liliom (1934)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two women love the same man in a world of few prospects. In Budapest, Liliom is a "public figure," a rascal who's a carousel barker, loved by the experienced merry-go-round owner and by a ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Charles Boyer, Madeleine Ozeray, Robert Arnoux
Street Angel (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Natalie Kingston
City Girl (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A poor factory worker, employed by a wealthy uncle, falls in love with a beautiful heiress but his happiness and promising future are jeopardized by a previous affair with a coworker he impregnated.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Frances Dee
7th Heaven (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A street cleaner saves a young woman's life, and the pair slowly fall in love until war intervenes.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard
The River (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A naïve young man is working on a logging camp beside a turbulent river. When it closes for winter, he opts to stay for the experience. He meets a woman who was the girlfriend to the boss ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, Ivan Linow
Morocco (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Adolphe Menjou
No Way Out (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A black doctor is assigned to treat two racist White, robbery suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A love story centered around the lives of three young German soldiers in the years following World War I. Their close friendship is strengthened by their shared love for the same woman who ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Robert Taylor, Margaret Sullavan, Franchot Tone
Man's Castle (1933)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Bill takes Trina into his depression camp cabin. Later, just as he finds showgirl LaRue who will support him, Trina becomes pregnant.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young, Marjorie Rambeau


Credited cast:
Mildred Van Dorn ...
Hollinger (as Guinn Williams)
Lillian Elliott ...
Louise (as Dawn O'Day)
Bert Roach ...
James A. Marcus ...
Linzman (as James Marcus)
Harvey Clark ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frankie Genardi


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Charles Farrell in his greatest role



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 October 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Borzage's Liliom by Franz Molnar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was once considered lost, but has since been found, restored, and put on DVD. See more »


Liliom: [speaking about the bad-tempered Mme. Muscat] I ain't never beat up a woman yet... well, almost never.
See more »


Version of Liliom (1963) See more »


Dream of Romance
Music by Richard Fall
Lyrics by Marcella Gardner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Disappointing early talkie version with a few "celestial" moments
19 November 2001 | by (Putney, VT) – See all my reviews

This is an oddity in that except for a 1919 silent film version, there were two early talkie versions of this perennial play made at just about the same time - a 1930 Hollywood version and a 1934 French version. All three were directed by top men in the field - Michael Curtiz, Frank Borzage and Fritz Lang. This Borzage version is typical of the poor early talkies - stiff, slowly paced, unevenly performed - but it does have a few magical moments, especially as a heavenly train appears beyond the window of the room where Liliom lies dying, seeming to come right out of the rollercoaster in view and enters the room itself, turning to allow the ethereal barker to come aboard. The train serves as purgatory and continually races through the heavens on a celestial roller coaster track - an ingenious bit of design. There is also the train from Hell which whips along the track, sending out sparks of flame.

Rose Hobart gives an excellent performances as Julie and although Charles Farrell is physically the perfect Liliom, handsome and swaggering, the moment he opens his mouth, we groan - his high pitched nasal whine of a voice is completely wrong for the character and destroys the illusion. Had this been a silent LILIOM he'd have been stellar all the way. Lee Tracy lends some humor as Liliom's no-good partner in crime

The sets are cheesy and except for the heavenly train sequences, seem to have been constructed from old pieces of cardboard - embarrassingly poor. The sound is quite poor on the print I saw which had subtitles in French. (The superior 1934 Lang version with Charles Boyer in the lead is in French with no English subtitles).

There are a number of changes in the script here - Liliom returns to earth after ten years (not sixteen) and he spends those ten years in Hell (to learn some discipline and responsibility). He is also the first Heavenly experiment in being allowed to return to earth for a day rather than that being the rule. Instead of stealing a star to give his daughter, he steals Gabriel's horn (a conch shell) - also new. The film is also hampered by its lack of music - only the death scene is underscored - not counting the ambient noise from the amusement park. The famous bench scene is cut to ribbons.

This is certainly worth seeking out for fans of the play and of its musical incarnation, CAROUSEL, but it is vastly inferior to the Boyer-Lang version and of course to the film of CAROUSEL itself, also released by Fox, which prepared the French version as well.

8 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Liliom (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: