Ann Vickers (1933)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  6 October 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 423 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

A prison reformer and a controversial judge fall in love and have a child out of wedlock.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Complete credited cast:
Capt. Lafayette Resnick
Malvina Wormser
Sam Hardy ...
Ignatz Spaulding
Mitchell Lewis ...
Captain Waldo
Murray Kinnell ...
Dr. Slenk - Copperhead Gap Warden
Helen Eby-Rock ...
Kitty Cognac
Gertrude Michael ...
Mona Dolphin
Dr. Sorelle (as J. Carroll Naish)
Sarah Padden ...
Lil--Black Woman
Reginald Barlow ...
Rafaela Ottiano ...
Mrs. Feldermans (as Rafaella Ottiano)


During WWI, Ann Vickers, a humanitarian who is just starting the adult phase of her life, wants to make a difference in the world - using her friend Dr. Malvina Wormser as a role model - but she also wants a fulfilling personal life. She isn't sure if she can accomplish both at the same time. So after a failed relationship with soldier Captain Lafe Resnick which includes a deeper personal tragedy for her, Ann decides instead to focus solely on her career. With a background in nursing and social work, she decides the area of her work will be in prison reform. Her lofty goals do not sit well with many of the male traditionalists in the field, they who may stop her from accomplishing what she wants, at her own personal reputation at risk. Although she has a multitude of wannabe suitors, it isn't until she meets Supreme Court judge Barney Dolphin that she contemplates having that fulfilling personal life at the same time as having a career. But the road to a possible happy ending for Ann ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sinclair Lewis' Ann Vickers  »

Box Office


$303,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Kelly as Dr. Alstein and Mona Dolphin are in studio records/casting call lists for this movie. Kelly was not seen in the print, and since Mona Dolphin was the character name of Barney's wife, it is likely that no such actress existed. Ferdinand Gottschalk is listed for the role of Dr. Slenk, but that role was played by Murray Kinnell. Kitty Kelly and Robert Benchley were mentioned as cast members in a news item, but they did not appear in the movie. See more »


Although the first part of the picture takes place in 1918, all of Irene Dunne's hairstyles and clothes are strictly in the 1933 mode. See more »


[last lines]
Mischa Feldermans: Who are you?
Barney Dolphin: Well, son, i refuse to answer without advice of counsel.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are printed in the pages of a book, and are revealed by a hand opening the book and turning the pages. See more »


Features Her Man (1930) See more »


Over There
(1917) (uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan
Played off screen by an organ grinder
See more »

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User Reviews

A rare mis-step for Miss Dunne
28 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

What can have been on Irene Dunne's mind when she accepted the role in this distasteful account of a woman of negotiable morals? Certainly, the Irene Dunne of the 1940's, whose reputation as a faithful Roman Catholic who publicly abhorred smut, and shunned any film scripts or Hollywood society, that might be even be remotely construed as corrupting public morals--would never have become associated with such a dubious project as this.

Perhaps, New York's Cardinal Spellman, in his private audience with her, gave her a good dressing down over this role? That we will likely never know, inasmuch as she never spoke of it in later years, though she did denounce her morally suspect, (though quite successful) 1932 film, "Back Street" as "trash".

Certainly by the time she received the distinguished St. Robert Bellarmine Award in 1965 for exemplary public Catholicism, "Ann Vickers" was no longer recalled by the general public.

Suffice it to say that "Ann Vickers" works neither as entertainment or social commentary.

Miss Dunne's role as an adulterous social worker, who sleeps around, (between reforming prisons and writing a best seller on correctional rehabilitation) doesn't dovetail with her temperament or on screen demeanor, and one keeps suspecting that the whole thing is a kind of tongue in cheek gag, (what else can we think when we witness a montage of Miss Dunne's sympathetic beatific gaze superimposed over a shot of a female prisoner being scourged?) By films end, she has renounced careerism in favor of marriage, (to crusty convict Walter Huston no less--and what kind of lunacy would ever conceive of pairing these two romantically?)

Irene Dunne completists will no doubt wish to see this curiosity, if only for the chance to hear her promise to rehabilitate a cocaine addict under her charge: "I'm going to get you off the snow cold turkey" !!!

Well, if nothing else such sordid goings on, do present her light years from her usual milieu of operatic trills, furbellowed chiffon and strawberry phosphates--cocaine addiction not being the first subject one associates with the irreproachable Miss Dunne.

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