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A Woman Rebels (1936)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 6 November 1936 (USA)
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 »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Elizabeth Allan ...
...
Doris Dudley ...
Young Flora
David Manners ...
Lieutenant Alan Craig Freeland
Lucile Watson ...
...
Lord Gerald Waring Gaythorne
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Storyline

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 finally lands a position at a "woman's" magazine, which covered topics such as sewing and cooking. After the editor takes sick, she moves the magazine into discussing issues of gender equality, child labor, medical care, and finding a job. She then finds herself as the unexpected leader of a movement. After an unexpected event, she is also faced with raising a child without a father, which people at that time thought was scandalous. Written by Taed Nelson <nelson@berlioz.nsc.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's glorious ...As a Woman In Arms! ...He's Magnificent As the Man She Adores.

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Portrait of a Rebel  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Florence Rice was in a cast list in a 1936 Hollywood Reporter article, but she was not seen in the film. See more »

Quotes

Miss Piper, the Governess: As women, the first thing of importance is to be content to be inferior to men, inferior in mental power in the same proportion that she is in physical strength. A really sensible woman feels her dependence. She's conscious of her inferiority and therefore grateful for her thought.
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Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played at Flora's and Alan's wedding
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User Reviews

 
Parlor Talk
12 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In the pantheon of feminist films that Katherine Hepburn did in her career, A Woman Rebels definitely belongs. Even though this Victorian costume drama failed at the box office, seen today it's manifesto for the feminist cause and altogether proper for the daughter of a suffragette to have brought to the screen.

Kate and her sister Elizabeth Allan are being raised as proper Victorian ladies by their widowed father Donald Crisp which means no rights at all. Liz dutifully accepts her lot, but not Kate. Liz accepts David Manners a young naval lieutenant as a husband picked out by Crisp, but Kate has a fling with Van Heflin that's left her pregnant. And Heflin's engaged to another proper Victorian lady to boot.

Kate goes off to Italy to live with her sister while Manners is on duty. Allan is also expecting, but after Manners is killed in action, Allan dies of a broken heart. On Allan's deathbed she and Hepburn decide to raise Hepburn's expected as her niece rather than her daughter.

Back in the United Kingdom, Hepburn goes to work for a woman's magazine and under her direction the publication becomes a feminist manifesto for its time. Still old sins have a way of coming back to haunt one and they do Kate in a most peculiar way.

Herbert Marshall is in A Woman Rebels as Kate's faithful suitor and British nineteenth century diplomat. He looks earnest and faithful much like a pet collie, but in fairness the role isn't all that much.

One can certainly see what attracted Hepburn to A Woman Rebels. It's very message was parlor talk in the Hepburn household when she was growing up. Still the film does have a lot of unresolved situations, mostly due to the Code being firmly in place now and flexing its censoring muscles.

Kate's co-star Van Heflin was pretty unknown at this time and she would pick him to co-star with her as well as Joseph Cotten in The Philadelphia Story when Hollywood pronounced her box office poison. Though she didn't pick him for the screen version, she was the one who got him an MGM contract when she went there and from there Heflin became a star.

A Woman Rebels is a story which probably would have been better told now than back in the day. Perhaps someone like Gwyneth Paltrow will take up where Kate the Great left off.


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