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Autumn Crocus (1934)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  February 1934 (UK)
6.2
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Title: Autumn Crocus (1934)

Autumn Crocus (1934) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Fay Compton ...
Muriel Aked ...
Esme Church ...
Frederick Ranalow ...
...
...
Audrey
Mignon O'Doherty ...
George Zucco ...
Reverend Mayne
Gertrude Gould ...
Frau Steiner
Alyce Sandor ...
Minna (as Alice Sandor)
Pamela Blake ...
Lenchen
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February 1934 (UK)  »

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Remade as BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Autumn Crocus (1952) See more »

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Autumn Crocus plot "inspired'" 1950's Bway play, film, musical
8 October 2014 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

"Autumn Crocus" was the first play of UK writer Dodie Smith, using pseudonym A.L. Anthony. The West End hit starred Francis Lederer in the Novello role, with Martita Hunt and Fay Compton who repeated the school teacher role in the 1934 film. Intriguingly, this 1931 plot was borrowed (or inspired?)American playwright Arthur Laurents whose 1952 play, "Time of the Cuckoo" with Shirley Booth also had a spinster school teacher seeking romance on her first trip abroad, and finding it with a handsome local. (The UK teacher longs for the Alps, while the US teacher goes for Venice.) I utterly adore Ivor Novello, but sadly must report that, in the light of modern sensibilities, here he does NOT play a romantic or sympathetic figure. Rather, he is comes off as a smarmy serial seducer of fragile tourists. To avoid a spoiler, I won't add to my list of his casual cruelties. Technically a beautiful film and an exquisite performance by Fay Compton, but today's audiences would cheer and clap rather than grow misty eyed at the conclusion.

"Time of the Cuckoo" was then filmed as "Summertime" in 1955 with Katharine Hepburn as the teacher, the seducer (Rossano Brazzi)being somewhat less caddish, thus allowing more poignancy. Then Richard Rodgers, with Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, turned the plot into the less-than-successful musical. "Do I Hear a Waltz?" Since most older woman today are single by choice and have traveled extensively, we are unlikely to see any further reincarnations of this plot.


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