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In His Steps (1936)

Approved | | Drama | 22 September 1936 (USA)
Tom and Ruth are disowned by their parents after eloping. They take up jobs as tenant farmers and and learn the true value of marriage, working and living.



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Cast overview:
Tom Carver
Cecilia Parker ...
Ruth Brewster
Harry Beresford ...
Clara Blandick ...
Martha Adams
Roger Imhof ...
Olive Tell ...
Elaine Brewster
Henry Kolker ...
Calvin Carver
Charles Richman ...
Robert Brewster
Robert Warwick ...
Judge Grey
Warner Richmond ...
Donald Kirke ...
Richard Tucker
Aggie Herring


Tom and Ruth are disowned by their parents after eloping. They take up jobs as tenant farmers and and learn the true value of marriage, working and living.

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religion | based on novel | See All (2) »


An audience of 20,000,000 readers. (Press book). See more »








Release Date:

22 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sins of the Children  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Fathers don't know best, especially when it comes to their children being in love.
26 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Released on DVD as "Sins of Children", this powerful drama takes two of MGM's rising teen stars, Eric Linden and Ann Rutherford, and casts them as lovers who escape the wrath of feuding fathers, former business partners who now hate each other. Linden's father cheated Rutherford's dad out of control of his bank, and while their relationship had progressed from childhood sweethearts to being engaged with their parent's blessing, it is now condemned by them. Not wanting to be torn apart because of their parent's hatred of each other, Linden basically kidnaps Parker and after much persuading, convinces her to marry him thanks to their old pals, justice of the peace Roger Imhof and his wife, Clara Blandick, who have been like surrogate parents to them. They hide out working on their farm, learning how to stand up for themselves. But with Rutherford's ailing mother (Olive Tell) on her death bed, it is very apparent that they must go back and face the consequences. In court, Linden faces possible jail time for Rutherford's abduction, and the couple must convince the court that their love for each other is more powerful than any law which tried to keep them apart.

Amazingly easy to take in spite of its obvious sentimentality, this is a mixture of comedy and drama which shows that seemingly spoiled rich kids can make a go of it and learn to thrive on their own without help from their family estates. Linden and Rutherford are totally likable, much smarter than their feuding fathers, while Tell goes from accepting mother to vindictive in-law who uses her illness to try and keep the lovers apart because of her resentments towards Linden for taking "her baby" away from her without her permission. Blandick, the wonderful character actress who entered screen immortality through playing Aunt Polly in the first "Tom Sawyer" film to playing Auntie Em in "The Wizard of Oz" (and years later entered another form of immortality by committing suicide), is the heart and soul of the film, lending the couple a family ring and totally supporting them even though she is aware that Linde broke the law. Harry Beresford is another excellent presence in this film, sort of a moral conscience whose silent presence suggests that he's some sort of Godly spirit meant to bring around understanding for what the two lovers have gone through.

You can't help but feel the struggles these two youngsters go through in their efforts to be together, but their love for each other is the type that will survive because they were obviously meant for each other. Their efforts to succeed on the farm (Rutherford hysterically trying to cook a goose and Linden doing chores around the farm) are light-hearted and take the film into a sweet, sentimental structure that is never cloying or soapy. The final scene in court wraps everything up neatly and satisfactorily, providing lessons to the prideful adults who have obviously forgotten the seriousness of young love as a result of their own embittered hurts. Seriously one of the best poverty row dramas of the 1930's, and even one of the best films of 1936 in spite of the fact that it flopped in its initial release but succeeded under another title ("Sins of Children") the following year. Franklin Pangborn has a nice, unbilled cameo as the flustered clerk who provides the young couple with their marital license.

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