12 user 2 critic

Looking Forward (1933)

Approved | | Drama | 1933 (USA)
Depression Era story set in London has department store owner (Lewis Stone) facing bankruptcy while his family fritters away money. A long-standing employee (Lionel Barrymore) gets fired ... See full summary »


Clarence Brown


Dodie Smith (play) (as C.L. Anthony), Bess Meredyth | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Lionel Barrymore ... Tim Benton
Lewis Stone ... Gabriel Service Sr.
Benita Hume ... Mrs. Isobel Service
Elizabeth Allan ... Caroline Service
Phillips Holmes ... Michael Service
Colin Clive ... Geoffrey Fielding
Alec B. Francis ... Mr. Birkenshaw
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Lil Benton
Halliwell Hobbes ... Mr. James Felton
Douglas Walton ... Willie Benton
Viva Tattersall Viva Tattersall ... Miss Elsie Benton
Lawrence Grant ... Philip Bendicott
George K. Arthur ... Mr. Tressitt, Salesman
Charles Irwin Charles Irwin ... Mr. Burton, Clerk
Billy Bevan ... Mr. Barker, Night Watchman


Depression Era story set in London has department store owner (Lewis Stone) facing bankruptcy while his family fritters away money. A long-standing employee (Lionel Barrymore) gets fired but finds new life in a home-based bakery. The owner's wife (Benita Hume) can't face life without money, so she runs off with another man. The tables turn, however, when a last-minute reprieve saves the store and a new relationship is forged between the men. Written by Ed Lorusso

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Release Date:

1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Service, Yesterday's Rich See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was initially telecast in Chicago Tuesday 21 January 1958 on WBBM (Channel 2), followed by New York City 3 May 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), followed by Philadelphia 28 June 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6). See more »


Liebestraume No. 3
Written by Franz Liszt
Played on piano by Viva Tattersall
See more »

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User Reviews

Looking Back on Looking Forward
27 January 2013 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

With the worldwide Depression threatening to bankrupt his business, London department store owner Lewis Stone (as Gabriel Service) reluctantly dismisses lowly, long-term clerk Lionel Barrymore (as Tim Benton). Although he "got the sack," Mr. Barrymore leaves his 40-year position with no hard feelings. Watch that "Liptons" tea truck Barrymore encounters - it drives around the block with lightning speed. At home, Barrymore's family begins to budget. Meanwhile, the family of Mr. Stone is also told to cut down on expenses. They must consider selling their mansion. While the less than ambitious Barrymore begins selling pasties, Stone considers selling his business to a less than worthy rival...

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's optimistic phrase "Looking Forward" becomes the title of this interesting drama, which retains evidence of its origin (as "Service") on the London stage. The story shows the Depression causing anguish for both business owner (Stone) and worker (Barrymore), but only hints at any real suffering. The latter is represented in a fine moment between financially strapped Doris Lloyd (as Lil Benton) and poverty-stricken seamstress Eily Malyon (as Mrs. Munsey). Their more wealthy counterpart, Benita Hume (as Isobel Service), simply runs away with one of her lovers...

MGM gives Barrymore over-the-top credit, but the more laid-back Stone steals the film; probably, Stone's character was the original's central figure. It's surprising MGM did not demand a romantic subplot between Stone's handsome son Phillips Holmes (as Michael) and Barrymore's pretty daughter Viva Tattersall (as Elsie). While predictable and overused, a connecting young romance would have balanced the main story lines, further involved the two families, and made the film more popular. Other grown-up children, attractive Elizabeth Allan (as Caroline) and sporty Douglas Walton (as Willie), get to show their stuff. Everyone gets something to do, but it all should have obviously been done better.

***** Looking Forward (4/28/33) Clarence Brown ~ Lewis Stone, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Phillips Holmes

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