6.6/10
650
24 user 8 critic

Berkeley Square (1933)

Passed | | Fantasy, Romance | 15 September 1933 (USA)
A young American man comes to believe that he can will himself back to London in the time of the American Revolution and meet his ancestors, who lived in the house he has just inherited.

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writers:

John L. Balderston (play), Sonya Levien (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leslie Howard ... Peter Standish / Captain Peter Standish
Heather Angel ... Helen Pettigrew
Valerie Taylor ... Kate Pettigrew
Irene Browne ... Lady Ann Pettigrew
Beryl Mercer ... Mrs. Barwick
Colin Keith-Johnston ... Tom Pettigrew
Alan Mowbray ... Major Clinton
Juliette Compton ... Duchess of Devonshire
Betty Lawford ... Marjorie Trant
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Mr. Throstle
Samuel S. Hinds ... The American Ambassador (as Samuel Hinds)
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Sir Joshua Reynolds
David Torrence ... Lord Stanley
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Storyline

Peter Standish has just inherited a house on Berkeley Square in London from a distant cousin, although he is unsure why it was given to him. It isn't until he moves in that he discovers a special bond with the house. Upon the discovery of further artifacts of his ancestors who had previously lived there, including a detailed diary, Peter comes to believe that he is destined to walk into the house at 5:30pm on September 3rd to assume the life of one of those ancestors. That man, also named Peter Standish, was an American officer in Washington's army who walked into the house for the first time at the same moment on the same day 149 years earlier in 1784, shortly after the American Revolution. Then, it was the home of Standish's distant cousins, the Pettigrews - Lady Ann and her three offspring Tom, Helen and Kate, who would become Mrs. Standish in an arranged marriage. Peter believes he knows what he should do so as not to change history by the details listed in Standish's diary. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La plaza de Berkeley See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 9, 1934, with Leslie Howard reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

In the 18th century, the word Okay (ok) was not used. See more »

Quotes

Peter Standish: Doesn't that prove that all time must really be one? Time... real time... is nothing but an idea in the mind of God.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Irish in Us (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Early One Morning
(uncredited)
English folk song
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Through the Past, Darkly
23 March 2015 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

How many of us have wished that we might escape from the dull reality of the present into the glamor and romance of yesterday? But if we could journey back into the mystery of the past, should we find contentment - or unhappiness?"

On a stormy night in 1784, new American noble Leslie Howard (as Peter Standish) arrives in London's "Berkeley Square" to seek a distant cousin's hand in marriage. After exiting his coach, Mr. Howard seems to vanish. Meanwhile, in the present (1933), his direct descendant and namesake "Peter Standish" (Howard, in a dual role) has inherited the same house. The modern Howard troubles his fiancée and friends due to his preoccupation with the past, especially the September 1784 day when his namesake arrived. Transported to the past, Howard invites suspicion when his "modern" manners and knowledge surface. Howard talks too much. More significantly, he becomes attracted to the wrong woman, beautiful but melancholy Heather Angel (as Helen Pettigrew)...

This intriguing "time travel" film was unavailable for decades, but the story was revived often on stage and screen. It was based on an unfinished Henry James novel and inspired memorable imitations from horror mythos-makers H. P. Lovecraft ("The Shadow out of Time") and Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows"). Howard recreates his performance from the stage well, but director Frank Lloyd and Fox don't take full advantage of cinema potential. Early examples are Howard's trip to the past. He could have appeared outside the door, wet, as both arrivals occurred in the rain. Howard also immediately knows how to sit in his 1784 costume, betraying a familiar comfort. Later, the film would have benefited from Howard visiting the actual grave mentioned in a letter...

Solid impressions are made by lustful Colin Keith-Johnston (as Thomas "Tom" Pettigrew) and sensible sister Valerie Taylor (as Kate). Matriarchal Irene Browne (as Ann) played her role again in the 1941 re-make starring Tyrone Power.

******* Berkeley Square (9/15/33) Frank Lloyd ~ Leslie Howard, Heather Angel, Colin Keith-Johnston, Valerie Taylor


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