Emma (1932)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  2 January 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 563 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 1 critic

After decades of raising the motherless Smith children, housekeeper Emma Thatcher is faced with resentment when she marries their father.



(story), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Richard Cromwell ...
Mr. Smith
John Miljan ...
District Attorney
Purnell Pratt ...
Haskins (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Leila Bennett ...
Kathryn Crawford ...
George Meeker ...
Dale Fuller ...
Wilfred Noy ...
André Cheron ...
Count Pierre (as Andre Cheron)


When their mother dies in childbirth, Emma Thatcher who has been the nanny to his 3 children but now has an infant to care for. The children grow up and Frederick becomes rich and successful. He and Emma marry, as it turns out right before his death, and his will becomes a source of trouble between the children and Emma. Written by Rebecca Fennig <beckles@earthlink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She makes you LAUGH, She makes you CRY, but always makes you HAPPY!


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 January 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Emma die Stütze der Familie  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


After winning her Best Actress Academy Award in 1931 for "Min and Bill," Marie was nominated again the very next year for her role in this film; Emma. See more »


When Ronnie drives up to the Smith mansion with his dog, the dog can be seen about to follow him out of the car. Ronnie calls the dog, and we see the dog sitting in the back seat as if he hadn't budged and then walking toward him. See more »


Emma: [to Matilda] If you intend to work in the swell, smart families, you've got to learn to be deaf and blind. It isn't enough that you should just be dumb.
See more »


Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »


Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 (Lullaby)
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played when the children leave and at the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

18 February 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

So few movies have a woman as the main protagonist, much less an older woman. Marie Dressler is wonderful, as usual, but the script helps a great deal, and the good, unpretentious direction. Old movies really have something special, a sense of compassion and humanity. Richard Cromwell makes a very good impression. It is sad that he lived only 50 years and was forgotten. One wishes Angela would reminisce about him. He had a very pleasant speaking voice. A voice is an instrument, and speech is music.

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Please, a DVD release of this wonderful film danielj_old999
DVD now available directly from Warner's webpage! simonhowson
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