6.4/10
1,063
26 user 15 critic

Christopher Strong (1933)

A famous female flier and a member of Parliament drift into a potentially disastrous affair.

Director:

Dorothy Arzner

Writers:

Zoe Akins (screen play), Gilbert Frankau (from the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Lady Cynthia Darrington
Colin Clive ... Sir Christopher Strong
Billie Burke ... Lady Strong - His Wife
Helen Chandler ... Monica - His Daughter
Ralph Forbes ... Harry Rawlinson
Irene Browne ... Carrie Valentine
Jack La Rue ... Carlo
Desmond Roberts ... Bryce Mercer
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Storyline

At a party for Bright Young Things, a "treasure hunt" for attractive yet virtuous people nets Sir Christopher Strong, M.P., and Lady Cynthia Darrington, dashing aviatrix. Their acquaintance is innocent at first; but after he sees her in a spectacular silver moth costume, virtue begins to wane. Against their wills, they are drawn into an affair whose consequences threaten Strong's happy marriage and both their careers. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Higher and higher! Faster and faster! She gave herself to the great god Speed, and tried to run away from the fires within her! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Russian | Japanese | Latin

Release Date:

31 March 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Desire See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$284,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to Jay Leno in My Classic Car: Jay Leno's Bugatti and Maserati (2018), the Bugatti Type 38 American Roadster used in this film was owned at that time by Charles Howard, the owner of Seabiscuit, and is the only American-bodied Bugatti ever made. Howard ordered the chassis from Bugatti and had it sent directly to coachbuilder Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California who built the body for it. See more »

Quotes

Lady Cynthia Darrington: I wouldn't have loved you if you'd been a usual man. And you wouldn't have loved me if I'd been a woman who didn't take this kind of thing seriously.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Nearer My God To Thee
Music by Lowell Mason (1856)
Lyrics by Sarah F. Adams
Played by an unidentified organ grinder
See more »

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User Reviews

 
B+ grade melodrama
9 October 2002 | by funkyfrySee all my reviews

None too subtle story of a famous aviatrix (Hepburn -- the movie calls her a "girl flier") in love with a married nobleman (Clive). They put off consumating their affair, even muttering to each other in one ridiculous scene about how "special" they are. Burke turns in a quality performance given a very standard mother role, giving her character the convincing quality it needs to withstand the transition from anger to frustration to final acceptance of the situation. A story that could not have been filmed this way 2 or 3 years later. Includes Hepburn in her infamous "moth suit." Clive does well, and Hepburn is great, but given how it's written and (especially) how she plays it, it's no surprise this film did nothing to improve her standing in the eyes of the more prurient elements in the audience. Perhaps, even, some of their later vindictiveness (including placing her on the list of so-called "box-office poison") could be seen as their own reaction to her character transferred onto Katherine Hepburn. Well directed and photographed. Unconvincing ending unhinges the movie in its final reel, but I guess last reel reconciliations by way of death were soon to be the rule in Hollywood (as they always had been in more conservative film centers), so it's good Selznick got in fairly early in the game. Will be remembered more by Hepburn's fans than by fans of good, solid movies, because she provides many of its most memorable moments.


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