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By Your Leave (1934)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  9 November 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 121 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

In the midst of a mid-life crisis, Henry Smith convinces his wife, Ellen, that they should take separate one-week vacations, with no questions asked. He tries to sow some wild oats with a ... See full summary »



(from the play by), (from the play by), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
David McKenzie
Andree (as Marion Nixon)
Glenn Anders ...
Freddie Wilkins
Leonard Purcell
Florence Purcell


In the midst of a mid-life crisis, Henry Smith convinces his wife, Ellen, that they should take separate one-week vacations, with no questions asked. He tries to sow some wild oats with a show girl and a paid escort, while she reacquaints herself with a childhood friend, now a famous explorer. Both get more than they bargained for. Written by Arthur Hausner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

9 November 1934 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 24 January 1934 and closed in February 1934 after 37 performances. The opening night cast included Howard Lindsay as Henry Smith and Dorothy Gish as Ellen Smith. See more »


Glenn Anders' onscreen credits lists his character name as Freddie Wilkins, but he's called Freddie Clark throughout the movie. See more »


Whiffen: Does your mother let you drink?
Frances: Oh, horsefeathers!
Whiffen: Don't horsefeathers me, drinking is a serious pitfall.
Frances: Don't be dumb, I can spot a pitfall from a mile away.
See more »


Far Above Cayuga's Waters
(ca 1870) (uncredited)
(Cornell University's alma mater)
Music (from the song "Annie Lisle") by H.S. Thompson (1857)
Lyrics by Archibald Croswell-Weeks and Wilmot Moses Smith (ca 1870)
Sung a cappella by Gene Lockhart
See more »

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User Reviews

A vacation from each other
1 June 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In 1934 Frank Morgan who had played conventional if slightly older leading men for the most part got a role that changed his entire career. He played the befuddled Duke Of Florence in The Affairs Of Cellini and got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. After that for the rest of his career he played mostly variations on what he did in The Affairs Of Cellini. Roles such as in By Your Leave.

Which was a flop play on Broadway that starred Howard Lindsay and Dorothy Gish, but in the days of the big studios they bought even flop plays and turned them into decent entertaining films such as was done here. Morgan and Genevieve Tobin play the parts that Lindsay and Gish did on stage of a respectable married couple who feel their in a rut. The answer is to take separate vacations from each other and see what develops.

Both are tested him by vivacious Marian Nixon, her by explorer Neil Hamilton both are glamorous figures to them. But as this was the days of the new Code you know what the answer would be.

Gene Lockhart made his film debut here as a companion in revelry that Morgan picks up along the way. You'll also see young Betty Grable in a small part. Best of all is Margaret Hamilton as Morgan and Tobin's maid. The future wicked witch acts like a Dutch aunt to the future Wizard of Oz.

By Your Leave is a pleasant entertaining film and one that fans of Frank Morgan should not miss.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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