IMDb > The Man Without a Country (1937)

The Man Without a Country (1937) More at IMDbPro »


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Forrest Barnes (screenplay)
Edward Everett Hale (story)
View company contact information for The Man Without a Country on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 November 1937 (USA) See more »
In this classic story, US Army Lt. Philip Nolan is upset with his assignment to a remote outpost with no possibility for promotion... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
Run of the Arrow
 (From Trailers from Hell. 9 November 2015, 7:51 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Poor Headstrong Philip Nolan See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

John Litel ... Lt. Philip Nolan

Gloria Holden ... Marian Morgan
Ted Osborne ... Jack Morgan (as Theodore Osborne)
Donald Brian ... Colonel Morgan
Holmes Herbert ... Aaron Burr
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Erville Alderson ... President Andrew Jackson (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Party Guest (uncredited)
John Harron ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Wilfred Lucas ... Lincoln's Secretary (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... President Abraham Lincoln (uncredited)

Jack Mower ... Minor Role (uncredited)
John Ridgely ... Ship's Officer (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Captain Mitchell (uncredited)
Lottie Williams ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Crane Wilbur 
Writing credits
Forrest Barnes (screenplay)

Edward Everett Hale (story)

Original Music by
Howard Jackson (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Allen M. Davey  (as Allen Davey)
Film Editing by
Benjamin Liss  (as Ben G. Liss)
Art Direction by
Ted Smith 
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
Music Department
Howard Jackson .... composer: music cues (uncredited)
Other crew
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Technicolor Specials (1937-1938 season) #2: The Man Without a Country" - USA (series title)
"Technicolor Specials (1952-1953 season) #2: The Man Without a Country" - USA (series title)
See more »
21 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:Approved (PCA #3348)

Did You Know?

Vitaphone production reels #8369-8370.See more »
Anachronisms: When Nolan's fiancée Marian visits him on the Hornet in 1835, the song 'Beautiful Dreamer' is playing in the background. 'Beautiful Dreamer' wasn't written until 1864. Foster wrote it just a few days before his death.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Man Without a Country (1917)See more »
(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's LandSee more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Poor Headstrong Philip Nolan, 27 November 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Edward Everett Hale's classic short story, The Man Without A Country has been done as a feature film on the big and small screen a few times. There was even a classic radio play that was narrated by Bing Crosby where Frank Lovejoy played Nolan that sold a few platters back in the day. But this 1937 adaption covers all the salient points in the story.

I've always found it ironic that the guy who was putting this whole western conspiracy together in the first decade of the 19th century, Aaron Burr, was never convicted of anything, but that this fictional small fry Philip Nolan got such a sentence. It wasn't however for any vague plot against the USA because Aaron Burr's very vagueness of purpose kept him from conviction. Nolan was arrested for desertion and his guilt was pretty clear about that.

John Litel as Nolan dreams of glory, riches, and adventure in winning his bride Gloria Holden. When he's reminded of his duty at the court martial, he utters the words that seal his fate about, 'damn the United States, I wish I may never hear of her again. As Hale says in the story the men who convicted and determined this sentence of exile for Nolan were those who had fought in the Revolution and such talk was an abomination to them.

Nolan is sentenced to be placed aboard a Navy vessel where he's to live for the rest of his natural life without hearing a mention of the United States of America again. He lives under that burden up until the Civil War.

Holden is showed begging for clemency from two presidents. James Monroe who was a Revolutionary veteran and survivor of Valley Forge and Andrew Jackson, a significant military figure in his own right from the next generation. Finally she wins a hearing from a president known for pardoning people, Abraham Lincoln.

The ending is changed and quite frankly ripped off from Maytime. Still Litel and Holden make a fine pair of lovers eternal and The Man Without A Country is a stirring story, brought to us in a stirring adaption as a Warner Brothers short subject.

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