Kings Row (1942)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  18 April 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,890 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 21 critic

The dark side and hypocrisy of provincial American life is seen through the eyes of five children as they grow to adulthood at the turn-of-the-century.



(screen play), (from the novel by)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Field ...
Dr. Henry Gordon
Dr. Alexander Tower
Mrs. Harriet Gordon
Nancy Coleman ...
Louise Gordon
Kaaren Verne ...
Elise Sandor
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Madame von Eln
Colonel Skeffington
Ernest Cossart ...
Pa Monaghan
Ilka Grüning ...
Anna (as Ilka Gruning)
Pat Moriarity ...
Tod Monaghan
Minor Watson ...
Sam Winters


Five children in an apparently ideal American small town find their lives changing as the years pass near the turn of the century in 1900. Parris and Drake, both of whom have lost their parents, are best friends; Parris dreams of becoming a doctor, studying under the father of his sweetheart Cassie, while Drake plans on becoming a local businessman when he receives his full inheritance - juggling girlfriends in the meantime. As they become adults, the revelations of local secrets threaten to ruin their hopes and dreams. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Perfect Players . . . in the 4 Star Best-Seller Story now becomes your Top Screen Triumph! . . . in Kings Row See more »


Drama | Mystery | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

18 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abismo de pasión  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The city depicted in the film is based on the actual Mid-Missouri town of Fulton, book writer Henry Bellamann's home. See more »


When Parris is speaking to his instructor in Vienna, Dr. Kendell strikes a match to light his pipe. In the next shot, the match has disappeared and there is no evidence that he lit the pipe. See more »


Col. Skeffington: [referring to Drake] Funny thing, I sort of like that boy. Bold as brass, but he's the only young man in town beside Parris Mitchell who has grace enough to say 'sir' to his elders.
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Referenced in Sands of Oblivion (2007) See more »


My Gal Is a High-Born Lady
(1886) (uncredited)
Written by Barney Fagan
Sung by the folks in the buggy
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User Reviews

Where's The Rest of Me?
6 April 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

For those who made fun of President Reagan's movie career by always citing "Bedtime for Bonzo" and laughing may be surprised if they take the time to watch "Kings Row." Even "Bedtime for Bonzo" is not as bad as those who have never seen it think it is, because of the ridiculous title. The former sports announcer plays Drake McHugh as well or better than any other Hollywood actor of the period could have. He stands tall among an extremely talented group of actors, including several others who have also been underrated and never received their due by the Hollywood establishment, especially Bob Cummings and Ann Sheridan. There's also Judith Anderson of "Rebecca" fame; Claude Rains who first made a name for himself in a part were he was invisible through most of the film; Charles Coburn, the grand old man of 40's cinema, playing against type in "Kings Row" as not such a grand old man; Maria Ouspenskaya in a non-horror role; and Betty Field shines as the tortured soul, Cassie.

Sam Wood's magnificent direction plus the acting keep the story from slipping into soap opera melodrama. True heart-rending sentiment rather than sappy sentimentality emerges from the social and economic conflicts that mix with human kindness and cruelty in small-town America at the turn of the last century. Though there is an element of nostalgia for a vanishing America, it never becomes petty or commonplace.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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