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Lilac Time (1928)

All of those handsome young men in their flying machines are billeted in a field next to the Widow Berthelot's farmhouse in France. Her daughter Jeannine is curious about the young men ... See full summary »


George Fitzmaurice, Frank Lloyd (uncredited)


Jane Cowl (play), Guy Fowler (book) | 5 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colleen Moore ... Jeannine Berthelot
Gary Cooper ... Capt. Philip Blythe
Eugenie Besserer ... Madame Berthelot
Burr McIntosh ... Gen. Blythe
Kathryn McGuire ... Lady Iris Rankin
Cleve Moore ... Capt. Russell (flight commander)
Arthur Lake ... The Unlucky One
Richard Jarvis Richard Jarvis ... Aviator
Jack Stoney ... The Kid
Dan Dowling Dan Dowling ... Aviator
Dick Grace Dick Grace ... Aviator
Stuart Knox Stuart Knox ... Aviator
Jack Ponder Jack Ponder ... Aviator
Harlan Hilton Harlan Hilton ... Aviator
George Cooper ... Sergeant Hawkins


All of those handsome young men in their flying machines are billeted in a field next to the Widow Berthelot's farmhouse in France. Her daughter Jeannine is curious about the young men fighting for England in World War I and their airplanes. Then one of the aviators is killed. His replacement is Captain Philip Blythe who can't help but notice Jeannine. When he lands the first time, she is standing in the middle of his "runway." She makes a more favorable impression when he sees her later by the lilacs. When all of the young men depart on a mission, Blythe promises to return. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TREMENDOUS SPECTACLE, when scores of fighting airplanes come to death grips in the skies...STIRRING ROMANCE in the glorious love of a maid of Normandy for a daredevil flier who goes up on his last trip in the face of new found love. See more »


Drama | Romance | War





Release Date:

18 October 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Never Dies See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


To enhance the viewing experience, a Boston theater put oil of lilac in the ventilation system during the showing of this film in 1929. See more »


Jeannine Berthelot: [inter-title] I cannot let you go, my Philip - I cannot let you go.
Capt. Philip Blythe: [inter-title] Jeannie, I'll come back no matter what happens. I will get back somehow.
Jeannine Berthelot: [inter-title] I will wait for you, my Philip - all my life I'll wait here for you.
Jeannine Berthelot: [inter-title] Goodbye, Lilac Time, my very heart says - je t'aime - I love you - I love you.
See more »


Featured in The Kid Who Couldn't Miss (1983) See more »


Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
Performed by John McCormack
See more »

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User Reviews

Jeannine, I Dream Of Lilac Time
12 June 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Lilac Time which starred Colleen Moore was a big boost to the career of Gary Cooper. He played the British flier who was stationed on a base at Colleen Moore's farm during the World War. He cuts quite a dashing figure as a British air ace and son of British General Burr McIntosh.

This film is a great example of the universality of silent films where the very American speaking Cooper and Moore could get away with playing a British and a French national respectively. In Cooper's career afterward, when playing in a foreign setting it was always explained he was Canadian, he was one of the first of Hollywood leading men to have that gambit used when sound arrived. But in the silent era the only demand was that one be photogenic and no one was more photogenic than Gary Cooper.

Lilac Time was a play written by and starring Jane Cowl on Broadway during the 1917 season. It was one of Cowl's bigger hits on Broadway and a pity she didn't do the screen version. It concerns a small base of the Royal Flying Corps established on the farm of Eugene Besserer and her daughter Colleen Moore. Moore is something of a mascot to the men, but when she spots Cooper she doesn't want to be thought of as a pet.

As for Cooper he's got a fiancé back home, one of those aristocratic arranged marriages and his fiancé is played by Kathryn McGuire. At first he and Moore do not get along, he regards her as a nuisance. But the chemistry kicks in after a while.

Lilac Time made at the tail end of the silent era was one of the first films to have a music score written for it. The copy I have is a compilation of old World War I era ballads, but with the popular standard written expressly for this film, Jeannine, I Dream Of Lilac Time. This was one of the first songs written directly for the screen, albeit for a silent film. It and the rest of the score is done on a Wurlitzer organ and the song makes this film a candidate for revivals at festivals. Gene Austin had a big selling record of this song in 1928 when the film came out.

Viewed over 80 years after it came out, Lilac Time still holds up very well, a bit melodramatic, but a nice romance.

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