Up 157,333 this week

The Return of Peter Grimm (1935)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  13 September 1935 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 156 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

The ghost of a recently deceased family patriarch tries to help his surviving relatives, in part by preventing a marriage that he knows will go wrong.


, (uncredited)


(from the play written by), (screen play)
0Check in

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 71 titles
created 12 Mar 2011
a list of 37 titles
created 15 Mar 2012
list image
a list of 210 titles
created 08 May 2012
list image
a list of 499 titles
created 05 Sep 2012
a list of 727 titles
created 27 Mar 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Return of Peter Grimm (1935)

The Return of Peter Grimm (1935) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Return of Peter Grimm.


Complete credited cast:
Helen Mack ...
Edward Ellis ...
George P. Breakston ...
William Van Dam (as George Breakston)
Allen Vincent ...
James Bush ...
Lucien Littlefield ...
Colonel Tom Lawton
Ray Mayer ...
Circus Clown
Greta Meyer ...


Cantakerous, opinionated Peter Grimm is a seventh generation member of a Dutch immigrant family that founded a family flower farm two centuries earlier. Realizing he has a bad heart, Grimm extracts promises and concessions from those he expects will survive him and draws up his will appropriately. He extracts a promise from his beloved foster daughter Catherine that she will marry his newly-arrived nephew Frederik although she loves James, a hired hand on the farm. Grimm's hopes that the farm will remain in the family are given a blow when the mercenary Frederik announces his intentions to sell the entire operation to a hated Grimm rival When Grimm returns as a spirit he discovers a terrible situation of his own creation. His "friends" are dissatisfied with their bequests, young William's health is failing, and Catherine seems headed for an unhappy marriage. Through the dying William and his old friend and confidante, Dr. Macpherson, Grimm's spirit tries to reverse the harm he's done. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spirit | promise | bequest | nephew | ghost | See All (47) »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 September 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Voz do Outro Mundo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 13, 1939 with Lionel Barrymore reprising his film role. See more »


The sign at the train station says that it is 85 miles from New York, and 25 miles from Albany. But Albany and New York City are around 150 miles apart, not 110. See more »


Peter Grimm: [to the dying William] Sleep... sleep. I wish you the pleasantest dreams a little boy can have... in this world.
See more »


Referenced in The Heavenly Kid (1985) See more »


Bridal Chorus
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Sung (with words "Faithful and True") by the children at a wedding rehearsal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Entertaining and Funny-With Some Great Individual Performances
3 November 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"The Return of Peter Grimm" (1935) is a remake of a 1926 silent of the same name; which itself was a adaptation of David Belascoe's play. Lionel Barrymore plays the title character, a wealthy uncle whose relatives live with him on his estate. Helen Mack plays his ward Catherine and George Breakston his young nephew William. Peter and William are not in good health and their doctor (Edward Ellis) is a constant presence in the house.

The main villain of the piece is older nephew Frederik (Allen Vincent) who is responsible for the suicide of William's mother and is plotting to marry Catherine and sell the estate they will jointly inherit. Vincent is appropriately slimy in this role and they somehow manage to subtly convey this the instant he first appears on the screen (you just sense it). These older films are often a surprising showcase of acting and directing talent.

Peter favored this marriage when he was alive, and encouraged Catherine to reject the man she really loves. But upon his death he realizes his mistake and returns as a ghost hoping to set things right.

The ghostly effects are of course quite dated but rather interesting. It appears that the scenes with Peter's ghost were shot in a normal fashion and then altered in post-production. A blur was glued to the side of the negative in which Peter is positioned, it is way too extreme and renders Barrymore's acting for the camera ability irrelevant; he can only convey his character's emotions with his voice during this sequences. And although they try to stage the scenes in such a way that the other actors (playing live characters) are not obscured, there are several times when they walk right into the blurred area.

Barrymore is an amazing actor, and the production is worth viewing just to see him do his stuff. He is nicely assisted by Ethel Griffies who plays Mrs. Bartolomew, a charity obsessed busybody who gets funnier with each scene in which she appears. The film also has a nice script going for it, especially if you like film's that preserve the basic flavor of their original stage productions. I can't imagine the silent version being very entertaining as it is the dialogue that really holds everything together.

Of special note is the touching final scene between Barrymore and Breakston, which you don't see coming. They go out on this sequence, which I imagine was quite a sensation for 1935 audiences.

The again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Barrymore in his prime ksf-2
In what location was it filmed? trekjunky
Discuss The Return of Peter Grimm (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: