6.3/10
2,618
37 user 32 critic

Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 29 December 1935 (USA)
Escaping to England from a French embezzlement charge, widower Henry Scarlett is accompanied by daughter Sylvia who, to avoid detection, "disguises" herself as a boy, "Sylvester." They are ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Notorious robber baron financier Jim Fisk, who makes and loses fortunes, tries to corner the gold market as well as the heart of a beautiful actress.

Directors: Rowland V. Lee, Alexander Hall
Stars: Edward Arnold, Cary Grant, Frances Farmer
Morning Glory (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a naively innocent, aspiring actress arrives on the Broadway scene, she is taken under the wing of several theater veterans who mentor her to ultimate success.

Director: Lowell Sherman
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Adolphe Menjou
Alice Adams (1935)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The recently widowed Mary Stuart returns to Scotland to reclaim her throne but is opposed by her half-brother and her own Scottish lords.

Directors: John Ford, Leslie Goodwins
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge
In Name Only (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While out riding in the country, wealthy New Yorker Alec Walker meets young widow Julie Eden, and a relationship quickly develops. However, Alec has not told her that he is already locked ... See full summary »

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man, Hilary Fairfield returns home after fifteen years in a mental asylum. However, he finds things are not the way they were when he left.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: John Barrymore, Katharine Hepburn, Billie Burke
Holiday (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, John Beal, Alan Hale
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story revolves around Pamela, as a woman in late-1800's England who has no intention of marriage and wishes to be her own person. After a great deal of difficulty in finding a job, she ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Herbert Marshall, Elizabeth Allan
Pat and Mike (1952)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Pat is a women's sports sensation unless her fiancé is around. Her new shady manager Mike keeps them apart and develops feelings for her.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Aldo Ray
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Franz Roberti is a famous orchestra conductor who has a number of girlfriends. While talking with his old music teacher, Professor Thalma, he meets Constance, an aspiring music composer. ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Moeller
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Charles Boyer, John Beal
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Escaping to England from a French embezzlement charge, widower Henry Scarlett is accompanied by daughter Sylvia who, to avoid detection, "disguises" herself as a boy, "Sylvester." They are joined by amiable con man Jimmy Monkley, then, after a brief career in crime, meet Maudie Tilt, a giddy, sexy Cockney housemaid who joins them in the new venture of entertaining at resort towns from a caravan. Through all this, amazingly no one recognizes that Sylvia is not a boy...until she meets handsome artist Michael Fane, and drama intrudes on the comedy. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En förtjusande pojke  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the poor reviews of the movie, most critics noted the performance of Cary Grant. It has since been recognized as one of Grant's break-out performances. See more »

Goofs

In the scene in which Sylvia and Michael are having a conversation and then lie down to go to sleep, their conversation continues though their lips have stopped moving. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia Scarlett: Well, we're all fools sometimes. Only you choose such awkward times.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kisses (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

HELLO! HELLO!
(uncredited)
Written by Alberto Colombo
Performed by Cary Grant, Dennie Moore, Katharine Hepburn and Edmund Gwenn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

another great Hepburn/Grant collaboration
8 April 1999 | by (Princeton, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

There seem to be some very common unfortunate negative feelings about this film ("SS"), which I think are mostly a clash of expectations with execution. The film presents two great stars in unexpected roles with unexpectedly complicated characters and quirky humor.

This is an interesting platform for Hepburn's developing style, moving her from relatively straightforward "strong female" roles (Christopher Strong, The Little Minister 1932-1934) to more multifaceted personas where Hepburn has to interact more with her femininity (Alice Adams, Quality Street 1935-1937). Sylvia's concern with her sexuality is very disconcertingly captured by the alternatingly coquettish and belligerent Hepburn.

Cary Grant's role in SS is a dark type he didn't get to do often enough, but excelled at. Grant has in this movie a truly unredeemable side that can't be whitewashed by just putting on nice clothes or changing his accent--a side he perfected in None But The Lonely Heart.

The movie also has great virtue as a cultural island in rather intolerant times. The faint undertones of male (Sylvester and Michael Fane) and female (Sylvia and Maudie and Lily) homosexuality are subtle and effectively done, and of course the transvestitism is diverting: the scene where Hepburn meets the owner of her dress is a classic.

Overall, the humor and characterizations in SS are pointed in so many directions that it's hard to figure out whether the movie is deep or ditzy. I have my doubts--the change from con-men to vaudevillians would be hilarious if it weren't so bizarre--but I vote for the former. This movie deserves its place beside Bringing Up Baby, Holiday and The Philadelphia Story as an enduring work of the Hepburn/Grant collaboration.


24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Beautiful Convincing Boy clanhar
I kept waiting for Hepburn to get with Cary Grant... kmevans09
TCM siddhaant_mohta
DVD?? willowtree602
Bunny Beatty ksf-2
Is that a cameo by... mapsnmad
Discuss Sylvia Scarlett (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page