7.1/10
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17 user 3 critic

White Banners (1938)

Approved | | Drama | 23 June 1938 (USA)
A homeless woman named Hannah drifts into the lives of the kindly Ward family, in a small Indiana town in 1919. Hannah makes herself useful as a cook and housekeeper and stays with the ... See full summary »

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(by), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Paul Ward
...
...
Peter Trimble
...
Sally Ward
...
Sam Trimble
...
Marcia Ward
...
Thomas Bradford
...
Dr. Thompson (as J. Farrell McDonald)
William Pawley ...
Joe Ellis
...
Bill Ellis
John Ridgely ...
Charles Ellis
Mary Field ...
Hester
Edward McWade ...
Sloan
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Storyline

A homeless woman named Hannah drifts into the lives of the kindly Ward family, in a small Indiana town in 1919. Hannah makes herself useful as a cook and housekeeper and stays with the Wards... but her real interest is in meeting their neighbor, teenager Peter Trimble. It turns out that Peter is the son she bore out of wedlock and gave up for adoption, and now Hannah has returned to town to see what sort of young man her son has become. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 June 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Novos Horizontes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

News item - Saturday, May 14,1938 -Burbank, California: Warners is rushing scoring of "White Banners," based upon the Lloyd C. Douglas novel, in order to have the film ready for screening at the Dallas sales convention (Warners)which opens Monday. Max Steiner, who is composing the original score, is working day and night to complete the assignment. See more »

Quotes

Paul Ward: But at a time like this when every nerve in me is crying out to fight...
Hannah: But that would be the easiest way. You must try and find courage not to...
Paul Ward: Courage!
Hannah: Not the showy kind that you get medals for but a private courage that only you know about.
Paul Ward: You're asking me to hoist a lot of white flags.
Hannah: Not white flags - white banners! You'd only be taking a new position and with it taking a new strength.
Paul Ward: White banners? It's an idea. It has a feeling of moving forward somewhere.
Hannah: Hasn't it? Maybe I'm too...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Breakdowns of 1938 (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A banner year for Fay Bainter...two nominations...
7 December 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

It's nice to see FAY BAINTER in a starring role opposite CLAUDE RAINS. Bainter has the sort of role you might expect BARBARA STANWYCK to do in one of her "Stella Dallas" moods about a mother whose love for her son has to be from afar until she comes to live in a household where she's able to be a part of his life again.

And thanks to a good script, there's no settling for a happy ending. Having satisfied herself that he's on the right path, she leaves him thinking that his adopted mother was his real mom and she walks off into the wintry landscape just as she drifted into the household at the beginning.

It's a warm story, full of Lloyd C. Douglas touches (he wrote the original Cosmopolitan magazine story) and it's nicely played by a cast that includes JACKIE COOPER (the boy inventor with the likable personality), BONITA GRANVILLE (his love interest in a puppy love sort of way), and JAMES STEPHENSON as Cooper's father who has a reunion with the son given up for adoption years ago, but keeps the secret from him.

Of course the flaws are there, as they are in any story of this kind penned by Mr. Douglas. The sentiment is poured on pretty thick at times, the speeches seem like pearls of wisdom coming from characters who always know exactly what to say in any sort of predicament, and Bainter's character, in particular, is a bit too noble and self-sacrificing to be really believable.

But she gives the role her personal warmth, dignity and intelligence in this story of a struggling inventor (Raines) who gets a lot of his inspiration from a woman with a penchant for helping others.

Summing up: A little known film, dated now, but still has some interesting things to say. The 1909 era is nicely evoked and the patent process for new inventions is something rarely dealt with in stories of this kind.

Trivia note: FAY BAINTER had two Best Actress nominations in 1938: one for JEZEBEL (she won Best Supporting Actress) and the other for Best Actress in WHITE BANNERS.


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