17 user 26 critic

Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 10 June 1932 (USA)
A drunken newspaperman is rescued from his alcoholic haze by an heiress whose love sobers him up and encourages him to write a play, but he lapses back into dipsomania.


Dorothy Arzner


Edwin Justus Mayer (screen play), Cleo Lucas (story "I, Jerry, Take Thee, Joan")




Complete credited cast:
Sylvia Sidney ... Joan Prentice
Fredric March ... Jerry Corbett
Adrianne Allen ... Claire Hempstead
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Buck (as Skeets Gallagher)
George Irving ... Mr. Prentice
Esther Howard ... Vi
Florence Britton ... Charlcie
Charles Coleman ... Richard Damery
Cary Grant ... Charlie Baxter
Kent Taylor ... Greg Boleslavsky


Nere-do-well Jerry Corbett finally meets and marries the right girl, Joan Prentiss. Unfortunately their wedded bliss is interrupted when Jerry's play becomes a hit and he hooks up with the wrong woman from his past. Joan decides that turn-about is fair play and she picks another man to escort her around to various parties around New York. Eventually Jerry quits drinking and sends his girlfriend packing, just in time for Joan to take him back. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In her innocence she expected days and nights of tender love. What she got was a Bitter Shock!


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to a contemporary article on Variety, the Los Angeles Times refused to print the title of the film in its advertisements. However, they did print the title in its review of the picture. See more »


Claire Hempstead: Oh, Jerry, this is your big moment.
Jerry Corbett: To Waterloo.
Claire Hempstead: To Austerlitz!
See more »


Featured in Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018) See more »


The Near Future (How Dry I Am)
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
See more »

User Reviews

A bit melodramatic
17 July 2018 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

It's pretty funny to think that in the span of seven years, one movie could have "hell" in the title, and another broke barriers by having an actor say, "damn." In this pre-Code drama, Fredric March is an alcoholic who tends to toast his drinks by uttering the title of the movie. Sylvia Sidney, a good girl who loves him in spite of his behavior, doesn't quite get that he actually means his toast. It isn't long before he does drag her down with him. . .

How many times has Fredric March played in a movie with a drunk scene? I can come up with seven, off the top of my head. The point is, he's had tons of experience, and he does it very well, so if you like to see him in these types of roles, you can give this one a whirl. Merrily We Go to Hell is a very nasty pre-Code movie, with an enormous amount of suggestive dialogue, and situations that, two years later, would never have been filmed. Open marriages, promiscuity, and orgies are made pretty clear, even though nothing is showed. To me, this was a pretty black-and-white film. Bad guy, good girl, bad behavior, good heart. I'd recommend watching My Sin or Call Her Savage instead if you want some pre-Code fun.

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Release Date:

10 June 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I, Jerry, Take Thee, Joan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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