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Ah, Wilderness! (1935)

Passed  -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 May 1936 (France)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 439 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 7 critic

Story of small-town life in turn-of-the-century America, and a young boy's problems facing adolescence.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Ah, Wilderness! (1935)

Ah, Wilderness! (1935) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sid
...
Nat
Aline MacMahon ...
Lily
Eric Linden ...
Cecilia Parker ...
...
...
...
Mr. McComber (as Charles Grapewin)
...
Edward J. Nugent ...
Wint (as Edward Nugent)
...
Helen Flint ...
Helen Freeman ...
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Storyline

Young idealist Richard Miller is selected as valedictorian for his New England high school commencement class of 1906 and intends to inject modern anti-capitalistic ideas into his speech. His father, Nat Miller, accidentally learns of it and interrupts Richard's speech before he can make a fool of himself. The small town later celebrates the Fourth of July with customary fireworks, picnics and the like, with Richard spending time with his girl, Muriel McComber, who promises she will allow him to kiss her one day. When Richard sends poems of love to Muriel, quoting the likes of Omar Khayyám and Swinburne, her father prevents her from ever seeing him again and forces her to write a letter denouncing him. Heartbroken, Richard drowns his sorrow in a local bar, drinking and smoking with a vamp called Belle, and comes home drunk. Alcoholic uncle Sid, who is used to the effects of liquor, nurses Richard back to sobriety, but Richard still must face the uncertain punishment of his father as ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The play that startled the nation!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1936 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ah, Wilderness!  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was the first to have media ads taken out campaigning for an Academy Award. The ads depicted MGMs Leo the Lion holding an Oscar, reading "You've given so much, Leo - now get ready to receive!" Despite the ads (or perhaps because of them) the film received no Academy Award nominations. See more »

Goofs

Belle's mole on her cheek/upper lip disappears halfway through her scene, then reappears later. See more »

Quotes

Richard 'Dick' Miller: I'm afraid I was born a hundred years before my time.
Muriel McComber: I was born ten days ahead of mine.
See more »

Connections

Version of Ah, Wilderness! (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Long, Long Ago
(1883) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Haynes Bayley
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
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User Reviews

 
Eugene O'Neill's only comedy is a winner.
20 January 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

This film is a veritable treasure for those who appreciate small-town Americana at the turn of the century. Set in New England in 1906, we see the plethora of events typical of the era: the high school graduation with individual seniors singing, reciting poetry and the valedictorian speech; the Fourth of July celebration with fireworks and picnics; the careful relationships between the young boys and girls; the close-knit family life with a sister and brother of the parents living with them. I thoroughly enjoyed Clarence Brown's depiction of this lost innocent era, which produced a warm glow within me as I watched. There are very few belly laughs - one I remember was when the protagonist Eric Linden says to his not-so-clever girl (Cecilia Parker) "I was born 100 years before my time" and she responds "I was born 10 days before mine." But I found myself smiling often at the goings on. Eric Linden carries the film beautifully.

The rest of the cast is superb: Lionel Barrymore and Spring Byington as Linden's parents; Mickey Rooney and Bonita Granville as his younger siblings; Aline MacMahon as Byinton's spinster sister and Wallace Beery as Barrymore's alcoholic brother. But I was particularly impressed with Helen Flint playing the vamp who Linden gets involved with when he was drowning his sorrows. The title, by the way, is a line from the poem "The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám."


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