6.6/10
273
18 user 3 critic

Life Begins (1932)

Approved | | Drama | 10 September 1932 (USA)
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 »

Directors:

, (co-director)

Writers:

(play) (as Mary McDougal Axelson), (screen adaptation)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Thanks to her ability and her legs, Claire McIntyre rises in the business world.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Loretta Young, Frank Albertson, Ricardo Cortez
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Prizefighter Jimmy Dolan accidentally kills a man at a party and escapes. He hides out at a health farm for invalid children and begins to lose his cynicism under the influence of the ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Loretta Young, Aline MacMahon
Taxi! (1932)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Independent cab drivers struggling against a taxi company consortium find a leader in Matt Nolan.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Loretta Young, George E. Stone
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hatchet man is ordered to kill his close friend for the sake of Tong.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Dudley Digges
Midnight Mary (1933)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An abused orphan sinks into a life of crime.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An out-of-work husband (Norman Foster) resents his wife (Loretta Young) being the breadwinner in the family.

Director: Thornton Freeland
Stars: Loretta Young, Norman Foster, Aline MacMahon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

It is the bottom of the depression and Sol Glass has the idea that the girls in the stenographic department should be used to entertain the clients. Seems the clients are tiring of the ... See full summary »

Directors: George Amy, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Loretta Young, Winnie Lightner, Lyle Talbot
Play Girl (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young woman's financial problems continue through a troubled marriage to a gambler.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Winnie Lightner, Loretta Young, Norman Foster
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Young man attempts to break up an engagement between a woman and an older man.

Director: William C. McGann
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Loretta Young, Henry Kolker
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Spendthrift Willie Leyland again returns to the family home in London penniless. His father is none too pleased but Willie smooth-talks him into letting him stay. At the same time he turns ... See full summary »

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, Frederick Kerr
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Marian moves to New York to make it big in the chorus and becomes involved in a love triangle.

Director: Thornton Freeland
Stars: Loretta Young, George Brent, Una Merkel
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Grace Sutton
...
Jed Sutton
...
...
...
Mrs. West
...
Dr. Brett
...
Ringer Banks
Walter Walker ...
Dr. Tubby
...
Dr. Cramm
...
Mrs. McGilvary
...
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 (44) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Give Me a Child  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Wonderful performances make this precode stand out
5 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

Life Begins - and ends - in a typical 1930's maternity / recovery ward, where we view 48 hours in the lives of several high risk pregnant women, played by Loretta Young, Glenda Farrell, Clara Blandick (Aunty Em???), Vivienne Osborne, Dorothy Tree, and Gloria Shea, as they await to give birth. While the film features plot devices which seem far fetched today when maternity wards are much more controlled and restricted, it does offer us a look back in time to see what giving birth in a typical city hospital in 1932 was like for our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I found the film fascinating and exceptionally moving.

Oddly enough, the most outstanding performance in this film comes from a male cast member, young Eric Linden as Jed Sutton, Grace's (Loretta Young) husband. What an actor! As a first time father, Jed is distraught and uneasy with hospital staff who seem to brush off his concerns about his wife as they might brush crumbs off a cafeteria table. I felt his every concern keenly. I'd like to see more of this actor's work. He had a very emotional voice, which was used to unforgettable effect in Gone With The Wind. In that film Eric played the young soldier whose leg was amputated without anesthesia, who screamed "Don't cut! Don't cut!" as Scarlett fled the hospital in horror. Chilling! Another great performance is from Aline MacMahon, who plays Miss Bowers, the nurse. Her character is a salt of the earth type, the kind of nurse we all hope to get for our hospital stays, who breaks the hospital rules constantly in order to show a more humane side of the medical profession.

Loretta Young did another superb acting job here as well, a very authentic and deeply felt performance as Grace. My, she is great in these precodes, I've really grown to appreciate her more as an actress the last few months.

Glenda Farrell played her role of a shrill unwed mother a little over the top for my taste (didn't anyone know back in 1932 that swigging brandy from a hot water bottle might be hazardous to unborn babies' health?) but her character redeems herself in the end.

Also in the cast was an uncredited Gilbert Roland, silent movie star, as a grieving Italian husband. His screen time was brief, but notable.

Life Begins is a must-see precode, try to catch it sometime on TCM, but remember to bring a few hankies to cry into. 9 out of 10.


21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page