In the 1810s, an old maid poses as her own niece in order to teach her onetime beau a lesson.

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(by) (as Sir James M. Barrie), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
Eric Blore ...
Fay Bainter ...
Cora Witherspoon ...
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Storyline

It's 1805 England, specifically on Quality Street, where a gentleman passerby is an event, not only for the lady being called upon, but also for the ever watching nosy female neighbors. Based on recent events, twenty year old Phoebe Throssel believes that a proposal of marriage from Dr. Valentine Brown is imminent. However, what Dr. Brown has come to tell Phoebe is that he has enlisted in the army to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, with no mention of any romantic feeling for her from his side. Fast forward ten years. Phoebe and her similarly older spinster sister Susan now run a school. The years and situation have not been kind to Phoebe, now thirty, drab and thus considered an unmarriable spinster. Upon Captain Brown's arrival back to Quality Street, he, by his immediate reaction to seeing Phoebe, too has noticed how Phoebe has changed from what he previously knew as a pretty young thing. Heartbroken, Phoebe, if only for herself, decides to regain some of her youth by paying attention... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

spinster | school | maid | niece | old maid | See All (45) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 March 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Rua da Vaidade  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katharine Hepburn and Joan Fontaine both appeared in productions of The Lion in Winter (Hepburn in a 1968 film version, Fontaine in a 1979 Austrian stage production) and both passed away at the age of 96. See more »

Quotes

Mary Willoughby: [Goes to the window and looks out] It's that impertinent recruiting sergeant. I passed him on the street yesterday. He closed one of his eyes at me, then quickly opened it again.
[She demonstrates to the other ladies in the room]
Mary Willoughby: I knew what he meant.
[She looks out again and sees the recruiting officer wink at her. She quickly closes the window curtain]
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Connections

Featured in George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A gem for fans of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer
13 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a gem!--IF you like stories set in this time period to begin with. IF you like the more sentimental acting style prevalent in the 1930's. And probably IF you're female.

This has some resonance with Jane Austen's Persuasion. For me, it felt as if I'd found a new Georgette Heyer story, and on film! This is set in the Regency period in England. It is both romantic and comedic.

Katherine Hepburn gives another great performance, similar to her Jo March in Little Women. I don't find her acting over the top at all. Franchot Tone is a good foil for her--not a great actor, but pretty hunky. Additionally, it has a lovely cast full of the kind of character actors you see in films like the Greer Garson Pride and Prejudice. In this case, it's Fay Bainter, Estelle Winwood, and other notables giving the film a fey charm.


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