The Flame Within (1935)

 |  Drama  |  17 May 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 91 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Psychiatrist finds herself falling for her patient.



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Complete credited cast:
Ann Harding ...
Dr. Gordon Phillips
Linda Belton
Jack Kerry
Henry Stephenson ...
Dr. Jock Frazier
Margaret Seddon ...
Mrs. Ida Grenfell
George Hassell ...
Mr. Rigby
Eily Malyon ...
Murdock, Lillian's Housekeeper
Isabelle Keith ...
Nurse Carter (as Claudelle Kaye)


Wealthy Lillian Belton attempts suicide by taking a drug overdose, so her physician, Gordon Phillips, sends her to psychiatrist Mary White for treatment. Lillian calls Jack Kerry from Mary's office and then tries to jump out of the window, being stopped by Mary, who learns that Jack is the reason for Lillian's distress. Jack is an alcoholic and doesn't care for Lillian, who loves him dearly. Mary convinces Jack to enter a rehabilitation program to cure his alcoholism. After some setbacks and eight months, Jack is apparently cured, but has developed a strong attachment to Mary, who reminds him that Lillian's dependence on him is just as strong. So Lillian and Jack are married and are apparently happy. Meanwhile, Gordon has been trying to persuade Mary to give up her practice and marry him, but Mary feels she's too devoted to her practice to give it up. At a costume ball, Jack tells Mary he loves her and that she also must love him. As they dance, Lillian gets intensely jealous, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <>

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Release Date:

17 May 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corações em Duelo  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

When Boyfriend Drinks
21 May 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

New York City "nerve specialist" (which means psychiatrist) Ann Harding (as Mary White) returns the love declared by physician Herbert Marshall (as Gordon Phillips), but she declines his offer of marriage because Ms. Harding wants to focus on her career. Marriage means Harding would assume the "housewife" role exclusively. After Mr. Marshall tends to suicidal young Maureen O'Sullivan (as Lillian Belton), he recommends Harding see Ms. O'Sullivan professionally.

Harding meets O'Sullivan as she is trying to kill herself yet again, by jumping out a window. The two women take a cigarette break. Then, Harding decides the best way to stop O'Sullivan from killing herself is to have regular sessions with… no, not O'Sullivan, but her handsome young boyfriend. Yes, Harding figures she needs to cure O'Sullivan by making alcoholic Louis Hayward (as Jack Kerry) stop drinking. Things get complicated when a new love relationship forms...

Harding barely gets through this story, with her elbow often protruded and some emoting close-ups. Marshall tries to maintain dignity, against all odds. O'Sullivan is pretty. While lower-billed, Hayward unexpectedly becomes the story focus. A-list director Edmund Goulding was successful enough to write, produce, and direct "The Flame Within" at MGM, but psychiatry based on seeing a patient's alcoholic boyfriend seems unprofessional. Some of it is unintentionally funny.

**** The Flame Within (5/17/35) Edmund Goulding ~ Ann Harding, Herbert Marshall, Louis Hayward, Maureen O'Sullivan

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