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The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Passed  -  Biography | Drama | Romance  -  21 September 1934 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 900 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 6 critic

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

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(from the play by), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) on IMDb 7.1/10

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

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Alliance  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Irving G. Thalberg' reportedly sought Katharine Cornell, who had starred in the 1931 original production at the Empire Theater in New York, as well as the 1935 and 1945 revivals, to star in the film adaptation. Due to her intense loyalty to the theater, Katharine Cornell had regularly turned down all offers from Hollywood movie producers. However, Thalberg argued that Cornell "owed it to posterity to make movies...so that future generations of audiences to enjoy and for future actors and actresses to study," according to Tad Mosel's Cornell biography, Leading Lady. Cornell was briefly persuaded by Thalberg's persistence, most notably by his offer to "destroy the finished film completely, burn it and send it up in smoke, if she wasn't completely satisfied." Cornell briefly agreed to Thalberg's terms in private, however was still reluctant to make the transition to film and backed out of the verbal commitment. The closest thing to Katharine Cornell's movie debut would be a brief cameo in Stage Door Canteen in 1945. 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

Edward Moulton-Barrett: I shall never in any way reproach you. You shall never know by deed or word or hint of mine how much you have grieved and wounded your father by refusing to do the little thing he asked.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
The earlier and better of the two films
14 July 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film was later remade by the same director twenty-three years later using nearly the same script. In fact, they are so similar that I definitely would NOT recommend you watch both--it would be way too repetitive. So, instead, I think you should watch this one. My biggest reason is I rarely like remakes unless there was something wrong with the original film and I know it takes little energy or talent to just remake an idea and script that already exist. Plus, in a case like this where two of the stars do such a great job compared to those in the remake (Charles Laughton as the over-controlling patriarch of the family instead of John Gielgud, and Frederic March as the love-struck Robert Browning instead of the totally unknown Bill Travers in the remake). I think that Jennifer Jones might have done a marginally better job than Norma Shearer in the original, but it's awfully close to tell. There have also been two made for TV versions, though I have never seen them and unless the story is much different, I have no desire to see them.

Once again, why see a re-tread when the original is a very, very good film.


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