Whom the Gods Destroy (1934) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Broadway's most successful producer, John Forrester, is deeply in love with his wife Margaret and dreams of the future when his son Jack will step into his shoes. He sails to England to produce a show but the ship strikes a derelict wreckage and is sinking rapidly. In the ensuing wild panic, Forrester saves many lives, until finally, panic stricken by sudden fear, he dons a woman's clothes and is among the rescued. On the coast of Newfouldland, the villagers, not aware of his true identity, curse him but he is befriended by Alec who helps him conceal his identity. With a planned story of his survival, he returns to New York but cannot face his family or friends after he sees the plaque to his heroism on his New York theatre. Deciding to remain thought of as dead, he becomes a derelict himself, surviving on odd jobs as he watches from afar his now-grown son begin his career as a producer. The son meets with failure and Forrester, claiming to be an old friend of his father, goes to him and renders assistance as Jack works on a new play. It is a success and Jack brings his mother to meet his mentor. She recognizes him as her husband and, after Jack has left the room, the two of them decide they still have happiness ahead of them, without Jack having to know the truth.

  • A famous theatrical impresario acts heroically when the ship he is traveling on sinks. He saves many lives, but at the last minute saves his own by an act of cowardice. When he returns at last to his home, he learns that he is believed to be heroically dead, and that revealing his return will also reveal his cowardice.


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