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This Side of Heaven (1934)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 2 February 1934 (USA)
A family man. (Lionel Barrymore) becomes innocently involved in an embezzlement.



(adapted by), (adapted by) | 3 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Martin Turner
Fay Bainter ...
Francene Turner
Jane Turner
Seth Turner
Una Merkel ...
Henry Wadsworth ...
Edward J. Nugent ...
Vance (as Eddie Nugent)
William Barnes
Flower Girl (scenes deleted) (as Dawn O'Day)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Stanton ...
Doctor (scenes deleted)


A family man. (Lionel Barrymore) becomes innocently involved in an embezzlement.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Família  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Scenes from the film Another Language (1933) is shown in the movie theater that Hal and Peggy attend, but the AFI Catalogue reports that these are probably outtakes. See more »


Vance: Come on, get on your old lace bonnet and your fur mittens and your little fur tippet, cause we're going out and push over monuments and ring door bells.
See more »


References Viva Villa! (1934) See more »


Santa Lucia
Traditional Italian folksong
Played in the restaurant as part of a medley of Italian songs
See more »

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User Reviews

Well made movie soap opera story
28 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Turner Classic Network showed this film this evening, and it is well acted if a bit pat. Lionel Barrymore plays a company director who has been co-signing a series of checks that Edwin Maxwell (one of his partners) has been pushing on him as part of a scheme to save the firm during the depression. But he announces that the scheme is not working, and that it is a matter of time that the auditors (who are coming in a day) will uncover the defalcation that has occurred. Barrymore goes home worrying about the future. His home-life is usually a happy one, but he is aware of changes threatening his family's unity. His son (Tom Brown)is going to college, and trying to get into a prestigious fraternity. His younger daughter is also beginning a college career, but has fallen for one of the son's friends. His older daughter has two competing boyfriends, a reporter (Onslow Stevens) and an accountant (Edward Nugent), and has just announced the engagement to the accountant. And his wife (Fay Bainter) has written a novel that a Hollywood studio has optioned.

Barrymore decides to commit suicide, after making certain that everything is set up for his family to continue. The defalcation is discovered by his potential son-in-law, who warns him and "gives him a chance" to flee before it is revealed (Maxwell has fled). In the meantime his younger daughter has almost gotten married, but stopped when she finds a cryptic note from Barrymore, and the son suffers a social disappointment and an automobile accident. But Barrymore returns home to commit suicide. Will he succeed or will he pull himself together to save his family.

In some ways his performance here as Martin Turner, the businessman facing ruin and disgrace, is similar to his shipping tycoon in DINNER AT EIGHT, also facing business reverses. But Oliver, the shipping tycoon, never planned to kill himself (he had a serious heart condition that the pressures of his situation was worsening). His family is smaller (just the socially pretentious Billie Burke and his daughter). Martin Turner has a larger family with more individual problems that pull them apart. But in both films, when his physical situation and his social position are threatened, his family does reunite to save him. But while circumstances in DINNER AT EIGHT help force Oliver's wife and daughter to come back to their senses, it is the seriousness of Martin's problems that cause the Turners to circle their wagons around their family head.

Barrymore was a fine actor, but he frequently had a tendency to hamminess (as did his brother John), but here he shows great restraint due to the circumstances of the story. As a result his performance here is pretty solid - one of his best. As for Bainter and the others they give good support. A soap opera tale, but it is a first rate production well worth watching.

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