6.7/10
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Life Begins (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 10 September 1932 (USA)
At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward ... See full summary »

Directors:

James Flood, Elliott Nugent (co-director)

Writers:

Mary M. Axelson (play) (as Mary McDougal Axelson), Earl Baldwin (screen adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... Grace Sutton
Eric Linden ... Jed Sutton
Aline MacMahon ... Miss Bowers
Glenda Farrell ... Florette Darien
Clara Blandick ... Mrs. West
Preston Foster ... Dr. Brett
Frank McHugh ... Ringer Banks
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... Dr. Tubby
Hale Hamilton ... Dr. Cramm
Vivienne Osborne ... Mrs. McGilvary
Dorothy Peterson ... A Patient
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Storyline

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward running smoothly. Things liven up when Grace Sutton is transferred from the prison where she is being held for murder. Most agree that the man she killed deserved to die, and Nurse Bowers sympathetically allows Grace's concerned husband Jed unlimited time with his wife. On the ward, the women have varied feelings about motherhood. Mrs. West, mother of six children, thinks babies are what give meaning to women's lives. In contrast, Florette, a showgirl, just wants to get rid of her twins as soon as possible. Miss Layton has decided opinions about child rearing and has no intention of being a doting mother. While the women debate their various theories, a woman who wants a baby so much that she has become demented wanders in from another ward. An Italian woman quietly sobs when she learns that her ... Written by Daniel Williams

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is It a Masterpiece or Menace? (Print Ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Give Me a Child See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Production Code Administration issued an approval certificate in 1936 for the movie's re-release, despite their concern about the directness of the story. See more »

Connections

Version of A Child Is Born (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Frankie and Johnny
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Glenda Farrell, twice
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pre-Code Gem
2 January 2013 | by nbroylesSee all my reviews

I'm not one for weepers, but this film fascinated me. Not so much for the story or the acting, but for the frankness. If it wasn't for precode films, we would never have an honest glimpse of the issues of that era, which actually aren't too terribly different from our concerns in the present. This film tackles a C-Section, pregnancy/giving birth while incarcerated, adoption, losing a baby during childbirth, drinking during pregnancy, maternal bonding, and even hints at the kidnapping of an infant by a woman with mental heath issues who desperately longs for one of her own. Some issues are commonplace in this era, and some of the health concerns have been addressed due to scientific advancements and public awareness, but unfortunately, some issues are still being battled. We see some of the worst cases on the nightly news. It's strange to think we went from this open and honest format on women's heath issues to showing adults sleeping in single, separate beds. I sincerely wonder how censoring these realities set us all back? I recommend this to anyone fascinated by precode Hollywood films, who doesn't mind a little bit of melodrama.


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