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Life Begins (1932)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  10 September 1932 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 262 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward ... See full summary »

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(play) (as Mary McDougal Axelson) , (screen adaptation)
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Title: Life Begins (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Eric Linden ...
Aline MacMahon ...
Miss Bowers
Glenda Farrell ...
Florette Darien
Clara Blandick ...
Mrs. West
Preston Foster ...
Dr. Brett
Frank McHugh ...
Ringer Banks
Walter Walker ...
Dr. Tubby
Hale Hamilton ...
Dr. Cramm
Vivienne Osborne ...
Mrs. McGilvary
Dorothy Peterson ...
A Patient
Edit

Storyline

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward running smoothly. Things liven up when Grace Sutton is transferred from the prison where she is being held for murder. Most agree that the man she killed deserved to die, and Nurse Bowers sympathetically allows Grace's concerned husband Jed unlimited time with his wife. On the ward, the women have varied feelings about motherhood. Mrs. West, mother of six children, thinks babies are what give meaning to women's lives. In contrast, Florette, a showgirl, just wants to get rid of her twins as soon as possible. Miss Layton has decided opinions about child rearing and has no intention of being a doting mother. While the women debate their various theories, a woman who wants a baby so much that she has become demented wanders in from another ward. An Italian woman quietly sobs when she learns that her ... Written by Daniel Williams

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | nurse | twin | doctor | mother love | See All (52) »

Taglines:

Is It a Masterpiece or Menace? (Print Ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Give Me a Child  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Production Code Administration issued an approval certificate in 1936 for the movie's re-release, despite their concern about the directness of the story. See more »

Connections

Version of A Child Is Born (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Frankie and Johnny
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Glenda Farrell, twice
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Effective Pre-Code Soap Suds
31 July 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

The Waiting Womans Ward of a large lying-in hospital, with all its joys and sorrows, is the place where LIFE BEGINS.

This nearly forgotten drama is a fine little soap opera, replete with comedy and tragedy, all tied into the lives of the maternity staff and their patients. The frankness with which the subject matter is handled points up the movie's pre-Code status.

Marvelous Aline MacMahon, as the sympathetic head nurse, is the calm center of the film, the rock around which all the currents flow. Able to handle any crisis or emergency, she is the mothers' best, sometimes last, friend. Surrounding MacMahon is a bevy of excellent costars: Loretta Young as a convicted murderess released from prison long enough to give birth; Eric Linden as her frightened young husband; brassy Glenda Farrell as a dame who hates children; sweet Clara Blandick as a very mature mother in for her sixth birthing; Preston Foster & Hale Hamilton as thoughtful, compassionate doctors and Frank McHugh as a comically frantic father-to-be.

Movie mavens will recognize Bobs Watson as a wee tyke who wants to see the Stork; Paul Fix as a nervous husband who promises to behave like a `little soldier;' Gilbert Roland as a distraught Italian husband and Elizabeth Patterson as a snooty doctor's wife interested in adopting Farrell's son - all uncredited.

There are a few absurdities in the plot - some of the mothers are obviously much too old; Farrell becomes blatantly drunk in the Ward but none of the staff seem to notice; an obviously psychotic patient is able to wander around at will - but this really only enhances the quirky entertainment value of the film and keeps things from becoming too serious.


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