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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 457 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 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)

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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:

Ayer como hoy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The gazebo in this film, a symbol of the typical American town, was built specially for the movie. 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 Great Performances: Ah, Wilderness! (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Like a Cool Summer Breeze from the Past
11 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Eugene O'Neill's gentle comedy about an American family living in a small town in 1906 shows us that our problems haven't changed, only the way we deal with them.

The story centers on Richard (Eric Linden) as he's about to graduate from high school. His summer is spent courting Muriel (Cecelia Parker) and planning to go to Yale in the fall. But he's restless without knowing why. His older brother (Frank Albertson) treats him like a kid, and his father (Lionel Barrymore) is having business troubles. And then there's drunken Uncle Sid (Wallace Beery) who breezes in and out of the house.

The mother (Spring Byington) is busy with the younger children (Mickey Rooney, Bonita Granville) and the spinster aunt (Aline MacMahon). Feeling alienated and alone, Richard goes to town with a friend (Edward Nugent) and gets mixed up with a woman from another city (Helen Flint) who's passing through town. Richard has his rite of passage and learns something important about himself.

Linden is excellent as the callow youth caught between adolescence and adulthood. His bravado shows itself in spouting poetry and speeches from plays. He's all talk. Beery gets top billing because of his box-office pull but plays a supporting role here. He's quite good as the boozy uncle who's sort of courting MacMahon (always good). Barrymore, Byington, Granville, Rooney, and Parker are solid.

But it's Helen Flint as Belle who nearly steals the film as the fast-talking city woman. She's excellent.


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