5 user 2 critic

Madame Butterfly (1932)

Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton is on shore-leave in Japan. He and his buddy Lieutenant Barton, out for a night on the town, stop in at a local establishment to check out the food, drink and ... See full summary »



(play), (story) | 2 more credits »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of a young geisha who falls madly in love with an american captain that travels all around the world collecting hearts.

Director: Frédéric Mitterrand
Stars: Ying Huang, Richard Troxell, Ning Liang
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married woman, her husband and her lover.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Roland Young, Thelma Todd, Cary Grant
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A New York fashion model finds herself being pursued by a poor but honest garage mechanic and a rich philanderer.

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Carole Lombard, Chester Morris, Adrienne Ames
Hot Saturday (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A pretty but virtuous small-town bank clerk is the victim of a vicious rumor from an unsuccessful suitor that she spent the night with a notorious womanizer.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Cary Grant, Nancy Carroll, Randolph Scott
Enter Madame! (1935)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Man marries opera singer, winds up taking back seat to her career.

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Elissa Landi, Cary Grant, Lynne Overman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Naval commander Charles Sturm has made life miserable for his wife Diana due to his insane jealousy over every man she speaks to. His obsessive behavior soon drives her to the arms of a ... See full summary »

Director: Marion Gering
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During a three-day pleasure cruise, a murder victim's friend (John Halliday) tries to trick a new bride (Nancy Carroll) into admitting her guilt.

Director: Paul Sloane
Stars: Nancy Carroll, Cary Grant, John Halliday
War | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The pilots of a Royal Air Force squadron in World War I face not only physical but mental dangers in their struggle to survive while fighting the enemy.

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Dr. Maurice Lamar is a noted plastic-surgeon who makes his rich clients beautiful, and also makes them. He makes Eve Caron, the wife of Marcel Caron, so satisfied with his skilled hands ... See full summary »

Director: Harlan Thompson
Stars: Cary Grant, Helen Mack, Genevieve Tobin
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drunken newspaperman is rescued from his alcoholic haze by an heiress whose love sobers him up and encourages him to write a play, but he lapses back into dipsomania.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Fredric March, Adrianne Allen
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The switchboard operator in an apartment building falls in love with a businessman who lives in the building, whom she has gotten to know only over the phone. When she discovers that the ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Cary Grant, Frances Drake, Edward Everett Horton
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In pre-WW2 Europe, a woman notices that wherever her husband goes, the Nazis seem to follow. Meanwhile, a charming reporter is following them...

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Walter Slezak


Credited cast:
Louise Carter ...
Sándor Kállay ...
Judith Vosselli ...
Madame Goro
Peach Blossom
Philip Horomato ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wallis Clark ...


Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton is on shore-leave in Japan. He and his buddy Lieutenant Barton, out for a night on the town, stop in at a local establishment to check out the food, drink and girls, 'uh, and girls' to quote Lt. Barton. Pinkerton spies Cho-Cho San and immediately falls in lust. Barton counsels Pinkerton that he can 'marry' this beautiful Japanese girl, enjoy himself with cultural approval, then sail happily on back to America unshackled, since abandonment equates divorce in Japan. Barton assures Pinkerton that once abandoned, Cho-Cho will be free to marry whomever she chooses from amongst the Japanese people. When Pinkerton's ship sails out of port, Butterfly waits patiently for her husband to come home. Three years pass. Ever with her eye toward the harbor, Butterfly holds a secret delight that she eagerly wishes to surprise her husband with: their son. Pinkerton arrives in Japan with his American bride by his side. He goes to Butterfly to make his apologies and to finally ... Written by Debbie Dunlap <dwdunlap@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japan | based on play | See All (2) »







Release Date:

30 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Falter flog zum Licht  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 8, 1937 with Cary Grant reprising his film role. See more »


Madame Goro: So this is Cho-Cho-San; what distinction, what eyes, what teeth. And you speak also the English?
Cho-Cho San: Yes, I learned from visiting scholar. She teach me very high class Brooklyn accent.
See more »


Version of Madame Butterfly (1915) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Till Death Due Us Part"
30 November 2002 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

MADAME BUTTERFLY (Paramount, 1932), directed by Marion Gering, stars Sylvia Sidney in one of her most atypical movie roles of her career, as well as memorable, that of a Japanese maiden. Those familiar with the Giacomo Puccini opera of that same name, will take notice that this screen adaptation is not an operatic reproduction but just simply a straightforward dramatic story in itself.

As for the plot, Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton (Cary Grant) and Lieutenant Barton (Charlie Ruggles) are two American Navy officers on shore in Japan. At a gathering, Pinkerton meets Cho-Cho San (Sylvia Sidney), a beautiful Japanese maiden who is about to become a Geisha. She disgraces her family by accepting Pinkerton's love to become his bride. Although she takes her marriage vows seriously, theirs are not truly bound with love. After the "honeymoon" is over, Pinkerton returns to the states with the fleet, with Cho-Cho San, whom Pinkerton has nicknamed "Butterfly," remaining in Japan where she keeps his home until he returns. Three years pass. During that time, Cho-Cho San, has given birth to a son she names "Trouble" (Philip Horomate). She is still confident that someday her husband will return to her. But what has happened to Pinkerton during that time? Did he go down with his ship? No quite. He has married his fiancé, an American girl named Adelaide (Sheila Terry), whom he intends on taking with him to Japan.

Sylvia Sidney, who by this time has been playing tragic American heroines in such Depression dramas as AN American TRAGEDY and STREET SCENE (both 1931), resumes playing this sort of role, but this time as a Japanese girl. She gives a believable performance, particularly with her round doll face features. Cary Grant, still relatively new to films and on a fast rise to leading man status, is acceptable as Pinkerton, giving one of his more noted performances during his early years as a screen actor, which began the very year of the release of MADAME BUTTERFLY. Charlie Ruggles provides some humorous moments as Barton.

The supporting cast includes: Helen Jerome-Eddy and Grandma San; Edmund Breese as Cho-Cho's grandfather; Sandor Kallay as Goro; with Irving Pichel as Yomadori; Berton Churchill as Sharpless; and Louise Carter as Suzuki.

Rarely seen in recent years, MADAME BUTTERFLY used to have frequent revivals during the mid afternoon or after midnight hours on commercial television way back in the 1960s and 70s, and with Cary Grant who had reached super star status in motion pictures lasting more than 20 years (retiring in 1966), his name alone would guarantee viewer-ship whenever shown.

While MADAME BUTTERFLY is an acceptable version based on David Belasco's play, the plot, however, can be a trifle slow at times during its 85 minutes of screen time, but Sylvia Sidney's performance, the presence of Cary Grant, as well as the reproduction of Japanese settings, make this curio worth watching, it it could ever be found or revived again. (***)

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Madame Butterfly (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: