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


THE TOWN THEY TALK OF IN WHISPERS (re-release print ad - all caps) 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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score was played during the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as President. See more »


When Randy sends Parris a letter in Europe, the return address reads "Kings Row, USA" with no street address or state mentioned. See more »


Madame Marie von Eln: Don't cry, Anna, for me. It will be worse for him. My troubles are almost over and his are just beginning. Growing up is so difficult, Anna. The disappointments and the heartbreaks, the frightening problems, the menaces and cruelties of the world. How often have I wished that his mother will live or his father, or that I were his mother! It isn't fair that a young boy should be brought up by an old woman who will leave him when he needs her most.
See more »


Referenced in The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999) See more »


In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played outside of Fritz Bachman's
See more »

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User Reviews

The Unbearable Complexity of Being

I have never been to America, but this movie seems so familiar. It reminds me so much of the apartment building I grew up in Calcutta. Maybe because people everywhere are essentially the same, or maybe because every character in this movie is a carefully thought out archetype. The Good Grandson who is the apostle of virtue, the Sacrificing Best Friend, the Spunky Girl, the men who live on the wrong side of the tracks but are still nobler than the rich old townspeople, the Old Man with Something to Hide, the Evil Man with an Honorable Facade, etc. In fact just the crowd u'd meet anywhere u live. That's what, I feel, gives this movie its timelessness. Add to it James Wong Howe's lustrous b&w photography like an old family photo polished everyday by the doting old maid, the assured editing that pieces together scenes straddling across time [Parris, the good little boy to Parris the good young man] & space [Americana to Vienna, like the new year msg in Parris' letter from Vienna dissolving into another msg scratched out on the snow in King's Row], Sam Wood's confident direction [he had done 'Our Town' too] & brilliant all round acting. Reagan blew my mind & so did Anne Sheridan. Wish Robert Cummings was less wimpy, but you can't take it all, can you?

A great movie, see it!

35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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