7.1/10
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Emma (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 2 January 1932 (USA)
After decades of raising the motherless Smith children, housekeeper Emma Thatcher is faced with resentment when she marries their father.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Frances Marion (story), Leonard Praskins (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marie Dressler ... Emma Thatcher
Richard Cromwell ... Ronald 'Ronnie' Smith
Jean Hersholt ... Mr. Frederick Smith
Myrna Loy ... Countess Isabelle
John Miljan ... District Attorney
Purnell Pratt ... Haskins (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Leila Bennett ... Matilda
Barbara Kent ... Gypsy Smith
Kathryn Crawford ... Sue Smith
George Meeker ... Bill Smith
Dale Fuller ... Maid
Wilfred Noy Wilfred Noy ... Drake - Butler
André Cheron André Cheron ... Count Pierre (as Andre Cheron)
Edit

Storyline

When their mother dies in childbirth, Emma Thatcher who has been the nanny to his 3 children but now has an infant to care for. The children grow up and Frederick becomes rich and successful. He and Emma marry, as it turns out right before his death, and his will becomes a source of trouble between the children and Emma. Written by Rebecca Fennig <beckles@earthlink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She makes you LAUGH, She makes you CRY, but always makes you HAPPY!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Emma die Stütze der Familie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Monday 22 April 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); it first aired in Altoona PA 17 May 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Norfolk VA 15 July 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Chicago 2 August 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 20 May 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Phoenix 21 September 1958 on KPHO (Channel 5), in New York City 6 October 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Tucson 4 March 1959 on KVOA (Channel 4), in both Honolulu and Grand Rapids 16 June 1959 on KHVH (Channel 4) and on WOOD (Channel 8), in Akron 16 August 1959 on WAKR (Channel 49), and in Salt Lake City 18 August 1959 on KTVT (Channel 4). See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film as the young Bill and Dr. Horton are rushing up to the house, a clear, moving shadow of the boom microphone can be seen following them on the hedges on either side of the walkway. See more »

Quotes

Emma: You'll get your feet wet, and forget to change your socks.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 (Lullaby)
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played when the children leave and at the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fondly remembered
27 August 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I saw "Emma" as a child over 50 years ago. I only remembered three scenes in it and never knew the names of the stars or the name of the film, for that matter. Thanks to IMDb, I was able to go on one of the message boards and find out the name of the film and that the star "who was a Marie Dressler type" as I recalled was indeed Marie Dressler (what instincts I had, even in childhood). I was just able to actually see the film on TCM. I'd love to know why it is we remember certain phrases and scenes growing up - the parts I remembered in "Emma" were exactly as I recalled them.

"Emma" is the story of a housekeeper who cares for a motherless family, actually raising the youngest, Ronnie (Richard Cromwell) when his mother dies in childbirth. The entire family is very dependent upon her. Mr. Smith (Jean Hersholt) over the years becomes very wealthy as an inventor, so his kids grow up in wealth and, with the exception of Ronnie, become horrific, ungrateful brats. Emma, of course, thinks they're wonderful and is blind to their faults. When Emma leaves for her first vacation, Mr. Smith accompanies her to the station, buys an extra ticket for Niagara Falls and proposes. The two enjoy their time there, but it's to be their only time as man and wife. Mr. Smith's chronically bad heart gives out, and he dies. All of his money is left to Emma with the proviso that she take care of the children, who would squander every cent unsupervised. The children (Myrna Loy, Kathryn Crawford and George Meeker) assume Emma is going to take all of the money for herself. To break the will, they accuse her of murdering their father. Emma is put on trial for murder. Ronnie is away in the wilds of Canada and doesn't learn about this until the trial is underway.

This is such a sweet story, buoyed by the magnificent performance of Marie Dressler. What an actress! Warm, strong and honest, she pulls at your heart. The very handsome Richard Cromwell, Angela Lansbury's first husband, is the adorable and adored Ronnie, and he gives an energetic performance. Cromwell had an interesting life. Not only did he enjoy some years as an actor in A productions, but he was a successful artist his entire life. Eventually, he opened his own studio. After years out of films, he was scheduled to make one, but withdrew when he was diagnosed with cancer. Jean Hersholt is excellent as Mr. Smith. Myrna Loy as one of the brat kids is absolutely stunning, though she doesn't have much to do except to act stuck-up.

Highly recommended. Any movie that can stay in your mind and heart for over 50 years has something going for it. Emma had several things, the best being Marie Dressler.


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