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Theodora Goes Wild (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 12 November 1936 (USA)
The author of a scandalously racy best-selling book tries to hide her celebrity from her provincial small town neighbors who'd be scandalized if they knew.

Writers:

(screen play), (from an original story by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Michael Grant
...
Jed Waterbury
...
Arthur Stevenson
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Aunt Mary
Margaret McWade ...
Aunt Elsie
...
Rebecca Perry
...
Ethel Stevenson
Henry Kolker ...
Jonathan Grant
Leona Maricle ...
Agnes Grant
Robert Greig ...
Uncle John
Frederick Burton ...
Governor Wyatt
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Storyline

The small-town prudes of Lynnfield are up in arms over 'The Sinner,' a sexy best-seller. They little suspect that author 'Caroline Adams' is really Theodora Lynn, scion of the town's leading family. Michael Grant, devil-may-care book jacket illustrator, penetrates Theodora's incognito and sets out to 'free her' from Lynnfield against her will. But Michael has a secret too, and gets a taste of his own medicine. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet The Gayest Lady Who Ever Went To Town! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'adorabile nemica  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dialogue from this film is re-used in the film Bedtime Story (1941), in which Fredric March portrays a playwright and Loretta Young his actress wife. All the dialogue in March's new "play" is actually from the screenplay of this film. It's virtually word for word, with only the heroine's name changed. The "gardener" referred to in the dialogue is of course Melvyn Douglas. Columbia Pictures, the distributor of "Bedtime Story," made this film, too, but none of the writers overlap between the films. Interestingly, in "Bedtime Story," the actors playing the onstage scene are not meant to be in a comedy. What is borrowed is the confrontation over the gardener between Theodora, her aunt, and the local club ladies. Also, in an early scene, March has an inspiration for the last line of his play - something about nobody in the town ever calling the heroine "baby" before - an idea that figures in "Theodora Goes Wild" as well. See more »

Goofs

When Theodora confronts the town's women after helping Michael with his dog's paw, the shadow of the microphone is briefly visible on the walls of the living room. See more »

Quotes

Jed Waterbury: [to Henry after getting calls objecting to the story] The buzzards are swoopin' down on us, Henry!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Misadventures of Margaret (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward Christian Soldiers
(1871) (uncredited)
Music from "St. Gertrude" by Arthur Sullivan (1871)
Hymn by Sabine Baring-Gould (1865)
Sung by the congregation at church
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User Reviews

 
highly enjoyable comedy
28 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Irene Dunne breaks out of small town conventions in "Theodora Goes Wild," a 1936 comedy also starring Melvyn Douglas, Thomas Mitchell and Spring Byington. Dunne plays Theodora, who lives a sterile life with her two aunts in a small, Puritan, judgmental town. However, she's got them all beat because she's living a double life - in New York City, she's Caroline Adams, a hot romance novelist who put the capital L in LOVE. Her scandalous best-seller is in the process of being banned by the town literary society. While in New York visiting her disapproved of uncle, she meets a friend of her publisher's, the flirtatious, irreverent Michael (Douglas). He doesn't know her real name or her literary alter ego so to prove to him she's no prude, she gets drunk and goes to his apartment - of course, she leaves screaming - but in doing so, drops a few papers that tell him who she is and where she lives. He soon shows up in her home town as a down on his luck man seeking work and she's more or less blackmailed into giving him a job as the family gardener.

This is a delightful comedy buoyed by the marvelous acting of Irene Dunne and Melvyn Douglas. The points are hit a little too hard, however, so that both characters come off as very annoying and exasperating at times. The fault lies in the script, because I don't think those two actors ever made a wrong move. Douglas, who in later life would prove himself one of the great actors of all time, sails through this film as he sailed through so many others in roles that gave no hint of his enormous abilities. Here he's charming, smooth and attractive, inspiring Theodora to take some risks - though he's got a few skeletons he fails to mention to her. Dunne is great as the staid spinster who becomes the talk of New York with her wild outfits, saucy attitude, and smart remarks.

Underneath it all, of course, it's a love story some innuendo you don't find in a lot of '30s comedies, which adds to the fun. Highly recommended.


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