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A Feather in Her Hat (1935)

A loving mother tells her son that he isn't hers so that the boy will be able to climb out of their poor surroundings. He goes on to become a playwright, and his mother sells her store to ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Clarissa Phelps
Captain Randolph Courtney
Richard Orland
Julia Trent Anders
Pauline Anders
Emily Judson
Paul Anders
Sir Elroyd Joyce
Lady Drake
Dr. Phillips
Liz Vining
Leo Cartwright
John Rogers ...
Henry Vining


A loving mother tells her son that he isn't hers so that the boy will be able to climb out of their poor surroundings. He goes on to become a playwright, and his mother sells her store to produce his first play. At the end of the film, the mother reveals that she lied about her son's birthright.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mother love | based on novel | See All (2) »







Release Date:

25 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sublime mentira  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The ¬£1,000 Richard receives on this twenty-first birthday would equate to $5,000 at the time (1935) or about $87,700 in 2016. See more »

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User Reviews

An Unreal Sacrifice
13 June 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A Feather In Her Hat was the second of two films that famed stage actress Pauline Lord made. The first was Mrs. Wiggs Of The Cabbage Patch. In the case of this particular one I'm sorry a better vehicle wasn't available.

This film has not really aged all that well. It's an old fashioned tale of a mother's sacrifice for her child having to do with seeing him brought up as a gentleman. Hard to do though when he's born out of wedlock and you're just the proprietor of a shop.

Along about the age of 10 for her son, Lord takes in a boarder played by Basil Rathbone who has the airs of someone who has lived among the upper crust. But who for reasons unknown has fallen on hard times and has a drinking habit. He meets with Lord and her young son played by William Martin who has the Eliza Doolittle type cockney accent. The idea that for room and board Rathbone teaches him the ways of a gentleman.

Rathbone and Lord succeed because he turns out to be Louis Hayward who is then told on his 21st birthday that he's not really her son and that he was left in her care along with a thousand pounds and now with the proper airs and language he can make his way in the world. As he has a gift for words Hayward becomes a playwright.

The rest of the story is rather unbelievable and I won't say more. Hayward does get involved with two women, Nydia Westman from the old neighborhood and fashionable Wendy Barrie. And in the end he's a success with a price.

I mentioned Eliza Doolittle before and A Feather In Your Hat is also a story about class distinctions which in these more egalitarian times is hard to fathom. We all know the story of Pygmalion or My Fair Lady if you prefer. But Eliza's father Alfred sure never made the kind of sacrifice for his kid that Pauline Lord does for Hayward. In fact the whole concept is unbelievable which if you see the film you'll know what I mean.

David Niven has a small role her and is in one party scene and given a few lines. He's debonair and charming and must have given everyone in Hollywood the same idea. In the future he carried more films on his charm than anyone else ever did on their's.

For a chance to see Pauline Lord I'd say watch A Feather In Her Hat. But the story is incredibly outdated and maudlin.

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