IMDb > Downstairs (1932)

Downstairs (1932) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Writers:
John Gilbert (story)
Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Downstairs on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 May 1933 (Denmark) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
An amoral chauffeur seeks to seduce a young bride. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Chilling Performance By The Great John Gilbert See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Gilbert ... Karl Schneider

Paul Lukas ... Albert, the Baron's Butler

Virginia Bruce ... Anna, Albert's Wife

Hedda Hopper ... Countess De Marnac

Reginald Owen ... Baron 'Nicky' von Burgen

Olga Baclanova ... Baroness Eloise von Burgen
Bodil Rosing ... Sophie, the Cook
Otto Hoffman ... Otto, the Wine Cellar Caretaker
Lucien Littlefield ... Françoise, a Drunken Servant
Marion Lessing ... Antoinette, Maid to the Countess
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Torben Meyer ... Cafe Waiter (uncredited)
Karen Morley ... Karl's New Employer (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Cafe Proprietor (uncredited)
Nicholas Soussanin ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Ellinor Vanderveer ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Michael Visaroff ... Servant (uncredited)

Directed by
Monta Bell (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
John Gilbert (story)

Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) and
Melville Baker (screenplay)

Produced by
Monta Bell .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson 
 
Film Editing by
Conrad A. Nervig 
 
Casting by
Benjamin Thau (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harry Sharrock .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
77 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
John Gilbert wanted to do this movie so badly he sold the story to MGM for $1.00. Ads for the movie proclaimed "starring Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbert" since the couple was married shortly after the production completed filming.See more »
Quotes:
Anna, Albert's Wife:[about her evening with Karl] Now you just wait a minute! I don't deserve to have you and me go all to smash. I've found out for the first time in my life - for the first time - that there are more than two kinds of feelings in the world. Is that my fault? There's a kind of way of making love that drives you mad and crazy, so that you don't know what you are doing. Are you going to throw me out in the street because I didn't know this before?
Albert, the Baron's Butler:Now you stop this kind of talk! And stop it right now! You learned something vile from a rat, and you forget that you're my wife - that I love you, and you bring him in here!
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Complicated Women (2003) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Du, Du Liegst Mir im HerzenSee more »

FAQ

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31 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Chilling Performance By The Great John Gilbert, 20 October 2003
Author: overseer-3 from Florida

"Downstairs" features a great cast (John Gilbert, Virginia Bruce, Paul Lukas) and many memorable, tension-filled scenes. Its plot is a strange combination of old-fashioned class-conflict melodrama (servants' lives compared to the aristocracy's) and sexual satire. I think it has held up well for its age, undoubtedly because it was a pre-code movie and could deal with subjects which only two years later were taboo.

This film and The Big Parade are my two favorite John Gilbert films. He was an under-rated actor, very attractive, polished, but with a sharp edge of naughtiness. His voice was quite pleasant and intriguing, only slightly nasal, but you rarely notice that. He obviously had training to lower his voice and make it more cultured, just like all the actors did who crossed over from silents to talkies. However his battles with Louis B and his declining health limited his roles soon after Downstairs to B pictures.

The most dramatic scene in the film however belongs not to John Gilbert, but to Virginia Bruce, whom I must confess is not a favorite of mine. After being seduced by John Gilbert's character she boldly and passionately tells her husband (Lukas) off and insults his lovemaking in comparison. Wow-sa for 1932! No wonder TCM showcased this scene in the pre-code movies special a few months back. However the TCM special didn't lay the foundation for the scene, because if we had it we would have naturally sympathized with the husband much more than the seducer or the wife!

Watch Downstairs if you enjoy the saucy John Gilbert or if you like pre-code movies. You'll enjoy it.

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