A physician in a small town suddenly finds himself the object of vilification and persecution when one of his patients commits suicide.



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Credited cast:
Dr. Wendell Phillips / Phil Jones
Karen Morley ...
Margaret Stevens
Anthony Abbott (lawyer)
Freddie Simmerson
Hank Simmerson
Esther Dale ...
Hattie Simmerson
Christian Rub ...
Olaf - the Valet
Virginia Sale ...
Jessica Tuite
Ruth Robinson ...
Mrs. Scutter
Murray Kinnell ...
Anthony 'Tony' Stevens
Harry Woods ...
Grant - Head Lyncher
Richard Carle ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matthew Betz ...
Don - Townsman


A physician in a small town suddenly finds himself the object of vilification and persecution when one of his patients commits suicide.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

5 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Happiness Preferred  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

A Hollywood social problem film rendered in poetic realism
5 September 2005 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

OUTCAST was a programmer, almost a full-fledged "A." Producer Emmanuel Cohen had achieved success at Paramount, and became an independent, forming Major Productions on his own with release through Paramount. A strong cast in the 73 minute OUTCAST enacts a believable, character-driven story of a physician who is persecuted because one of his patients committed suicide. The star was Warren William, a popular romantic lead in a variety of genres, with supporting players Karen Morley, a prominent Hollywood leftist, and Lewis Stone, in one of his last roles before donning the mantle of "Judge Hardy." The script was by Doris Malloy and Dore Schary, future MGM studio chief famed for producing social problem films. Director of OUTCAST was Robert Florey, who had gained fame in the avant-garde and in the early 1930s helped to shape the Universal horror cycle, writing and directing such films as FRANKENSTEIN and MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE. In OUTCAST, Florey reveals an increasing stylistic sophistication, blending the German Expressionist visuals which had marked his earlier work with an increased naturalist influence, that would eventually coalesce in the 1940s when Florey became one of the leaders in Hollywood's shift to a realistic style. The result in Outcast is a naturalism that serves to emphasize an artistic rendering of the subject matter, rather than the political aspect. Rudolph Maté's camera-work beautifully captures the setting in the wintry snows of Nevada (shot on location) as it shifts from a cozy small town refuge to the site of a gathering mob ready to commit violence. A scene of a gruelingly slow operation on a child and his sudden, accidental murder by his mother remains shocking even by today's no-holds-barred standards. The interiors of OUTCAST were not actually shot at the Paramount lot, but at the General Service Studios, as well as a location trip to Nevada for the wintry outdoor scenes. With its intelligent acting, careful pacing, emphasis on character, and elaborate settings and photography, OUTCAST was clearly a quality film in every aspect of its production. It demonstrates how a seemingly cozy small town can ignite into mob violence, and only a last-minute determination to abruptly shift the mood, to leave the audience with a smile on their face, undercuts its impact today.

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