Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Danville, Connecticut at the turn of the century. Young Richard Miller lives in a middle-class neighborhood with his family. He is in love with the girl next-door, Muriel, but her father ... See full summary »
At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling meets his Aunt Augusta, an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings who pulls him along on a whirlwind adventure as she ... See full summary »
Louis Gossett Jr.
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 <email@example.com>
The gazebo in this film, a symbol of the typical American town, was built specially for the movie. See more »
Belle's mole on her cheek/upper lip disappears halfway through her scene, then reappears later. See more »
Well, look here, Richard. It's about time you and I had a serious talk about certain matters pertaining to, er, the opposite sex. The subject has come up of its own accord and it's a good time to... I mean there's no use to procrastinating any further. Here goes. Richard, you've now arrived at the age... well, you're a man, in a way. It's only natural that you should, er... I mean there's a certain class of woman in this world. There always has been and always will be as long as human nature is...
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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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