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Prestige (1932)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama | 22 January 1932 (USA)
A woman travels to a French penal colony in Indo China to be with her fiancée, the commander. She arrives to find that he is now an alcoholic.



(story), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Ian Maclaren ...
Colonel Du Flos (as Ian MacLaren)
Capt. Emil de Fontenac
Tetsu Komai ...


A woman travels to a French penal colony in Indo China to be with her fiancée, the commander. She arrives to find that he is now an alcoholic.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 January 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prestigio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Melvyn Douglas was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn to replace the originally cast Robert Williams, who had died of a ruptured appendix. See more »


Lt.: Tell me, what sort of a trip did you have, eh? Pretty rough?
Capt. Remy Baudoin: Not bad. There was an episode with some crocodiles. I thought for a moment I was gone. But it appears they prefer dark meat.
Lt.: Boatman?
Lt.: Too bad.
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »


Etude in E Op.10 No.3
(1832) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano by Ann Harding
See more »

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User Reviews

Somebody got Tay Garnett a crane and a dolly for Christmas
16 October 2008 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The mostly B director, who made a lot of exotic back-lot adventures (his amusing memoir is called "Light Up Your Torches and Pull Up Your Tights"), is blessed with the most mobile camera 1931 could offer in this impressively atmospheric melodrama, set mainly in an Indochine penal colony, where bride Ann Harding has come to help commanding officer Melvyn Douglas. Garnett and his DP roam all over the place, with some tracking shots that are quite amazing for their time--one, taking Harding and Adolphe Menjou from a hotel lobby to a train station, lasts a couple of minutes and takes in every word of dialog, and is perfectly framed. Some of the tracking isn't to any particular purpose, but it's a lesson in how versatile the sound camera had gotten in just two years (compare this to anything from 1929). The premise is offensively racist and may have raised some eyebrows even in its day: As Harding's stiff-upper-lip father tells her, in so many words, she and Douglas are fighting for the white man's prestige and dignity, by proving their ability to lord it over all other races. But if you can put up with that, you get a sweaty, compelling little picture with some show-stopping set pieces. Harding is, as always, womanly and unforced, with an innate calm, and Douglas, replacing Robert Williams, who died unexpectedly, convincingly goes through some awful mood swings. It's very well and innovatively shot on what may be an RKO back lot but sure looks like the real thing. The climax strains credibility, and Garnett pushes harder for atmosphere than he absolutely has to, but it's interesting throughout and quite different from much of the assembly-line studio product of the day.

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