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The Right to Live (1935)

Approved | | Drama | 26 January 1935 (USA)
Maurice and Stella Trent are happily married. When Maurice is crippled in an airplane crash, he and his mother send for his brother Colin to come help keep Stella busy. He is to show her a ... See full summary »



(based on: "The Sacred Flame") (as Somerset Maugham), (screen play)

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Complete credited cast:
Stella Trent
Colin Trent
Nurse Wayland
Mrs. Trent
Major Licondra
Dr. Harvester
Phyllis Coghlan ...
Mr. Pride
Mrs. Pride
Sir Stephen Barr


Maurice and Stella Trent are happily married. When Maurice is crippled in an airplane crash, he and his mother send for his brother Colin to come help keep Stella busy. He is to show her a good time during what promises to be a 5 month recovery before an operation will allow Maurice to walk again. Stella and Colin become very close, and things come to a boil when Maurice believes his life may not be worth living any longer after all. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A daring story - a superb cast - a gripping motion picture everyone should see.




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Release Date:

26 January 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sacred Flame  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The airplane Maurice is depicted as flying is a Kinner B Sportster, registration NC14264. It was made by the Kinner Airplane and Motor Corp. of Glendale, California. Only 12 were made, all in 1933. It had a top speed of 112 mph and a range of 440 miles. Without options, it sold for around $3,000 ($55,700 in 2016). See more »


The first time we see Maurice in his bed after the accident and his nurse goes to his side we see Maurice is lying neatly under the covers with his arms above the covers but straight to his side, hands clutched. In the next shot his pajamas and the bed covers are askew and he is nervously wringing his fingers as his hands rest on his chest. See more »


Version of The Sacred Flame (1929) See more »


Tristan und Isolde
(1865) (uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
The ending is performed at the opera, with the singing role of Isolde unidentified
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable Little Drama
29 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

Does the young wife of a handicapped man still have THE RIGHT TO LIVE and enjoy some happiness?

What could have been a rather turgid soap opera is instead a very watchable adaptation of Somerset Maugham's play The Sacred Flame. This is mainly due to an intelligent script and excellent acting from the entire cast. It's also refreshing to watch a story in which there are no villains, only good people trying to deal with heartrending circumstances.

Lovely Josephine Hutchinson, an actress sadly obscure today, charms the audience instantly as a young wife who must make a terrible choice between two brothers who adore her. They are played by flying enthusiast Colin Clive and plantation manager George Brent, both sensitive to duty, each willing to make a valiant sacrifice for Miss Hutchinson's happiness. Their wise old mother is sensitively portrayed by Henrietta Crosman.

Giving good support are Peggy Wood as a quiet nurse with a heavy heart; Leo G. Carroll as the friendly family doctor; and Halliwell Hobbes as an expert medical specialist. Best of all is wonderful old Sir C. Aubrey Smith as a retired Major home from India.

Movie mavens will recognize an unbilled Forrester Harvey as a genial British Bobby.

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