7.1/10
1,103
20 user 8 critic

The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director:

Writers:

(from the play by) (as Rudolf Besier), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

John has led a solitary life for thirty years since the death of Moonyeen Clare. But now Owens, a close friend, insists that he care for his niece, Kathleen, orphaned when her parents were ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Certificate: Passed Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mary Barrett is an aspiring Opera singer who is taken under the wings of a famous operatic maestro, Guilio Monterverdi. After spending endless working hours together and arguing, their ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Grace Moore, Tullio Carminati, Lyle Talbot
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier
Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of disparate travelers are caught are thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the start of WWII.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold
A Free Soul (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An English valet brought to the American west assimilates into the American way of life.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After Nina Leeds finds out that insanity runs in her husband's family, she has a love child with a handsome doctor and lets her husband believes the child is his.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Alexander Kirkland
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
State Fair (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Iowa family finds adventure, love, and heartbreak, when they spend a week at the state fair.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, Lew Ayres
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Marion Clayton Anderson ...
Bella Hedley (as Marion Clayton)
...
Ferdinand Munier ...
...
...
Dr. Ford-Waterlow (as Leo Carroll)
Vernon Downing ...
Neville Clark ...
Matthew Smith ...
Robert Carleton ...
Edit

Storyline

In 1845 London, the Barrett family is ruled with an iron fist by its stern widowed patriarch, Edward Moulton-Barrett. His nine grown children are afraid of him more than they love him. One of his rules is that none of his children are allowed to marry, which does not sit well with youngest daughter Henrietta as she loves and wants to marry Captain Surtees Cook. Of the nine, the one exception is his daughter Elizabeth, who abides faithfully to her father's wishes. Elizabeth does not think too much about the non-marriage rule as she has an unknown chronic illness which has kept her bedridden. She feels her life will not be a long one. With her time, she writes poetry, which she shares by correspondence with another young poet, Robert Browning. Elizabeth's outlook on her life changes when she meets Mr. Browning for the first time, he who has fallen in love with her without even having met her. She, in return, falls in love with him after their meeting. With Mr. Browning's love and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When poets love, Heaven and Earth fall back to watch!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Alliance  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Barretts of Wimpole Street opened at the Empire Theater (New York) on February 9, 1931 and ran for 370 performances. The opening night cast included Katharine Cornell as Elizabeth Barrett, Brian Aherne as Robert Browning and Charles Waldron as Edward Moulton-Barrett. There were 2 Broadway revivals, in 1935 and 1945, also starring Cornell and Aherne in both. Flush, a Dog, was in all 3 productions, as well as in this movie and the 1957 remake, but they were probably at least two different dogs. See more »

Goofs

When the Barrett children are gathered around the piano listening to Elizabeth sing, one of the sons can be caught looking directly into the camera lens, and then trying to divert his look. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Chambers: You know, the fact is, a change from these surroundings would do you a world of good. Italy's the place for you!
Elizabeth Barrett: Italy? Oh, no Doctor. This is my Italy.
Dr. Chambers: Rubbish. That's just it. You don't want to go anywhere. You don't want to see anybody. Confound it, my dear, isn't there something you want to do?
Elizabeth Barrett: Yes. And I'm doing it. I'm writing poetry. And there are those you think it isn't such bad poetry. Mr. Robert Browning has sent me several letters of approval.
Dr. Chambers: Browning? Never heard of him.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Wilt Thou Have My Hand
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Herbert Stothart
Words by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Performed by Norma Shearer (piano and vocal)
Reprised by her, Maureen O'Sullivan, Katharine Alexander, Vernon Downing,
Neville Clark, Matthew Smith, Robert Carleton, Allan Conrad and Peter Hobbes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Shearer's finest hour
26 May 1999 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

This was a prestige effort in every way in 1934, gathering together the Academy Award winners of the past three years to appear together in the film version of a highly respected play. That the play no longer holds the stage, and that it is old fashioned melodrama, is hardly the point. The script may lean towards the treacly, but both Charles Laughton and in particular Norma Shearer give it s real lift.

Laughton is somewhat hammy, playing Mr. Barrett as a slightly toned down Dr. Moreau. But I defy anyone to look away; and towards the end of the film he does give a fine impression of a man in torment. But it is Shearer who really carries the film; absolutely lovely performance, restrained and wisely underplaying with Laughton. Observe their final confrontation and note how Shearer's performance rises in intensity as Laughton's grows more subdued. This is a high class of ensemble acting.

Only Fredric March lets the film down by being far too energetic as Robert Browning; meant to be cockily eccentric, he succeeds in putting your teeth on edge. Still, Norma loves him convincingly enough.

A highly recommended film for a rainy afternoon.


19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why no dvd? nhunter
The dog Sorcerersbroom
Una O'Connor george-695-323782
Discuss The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page