12 user 9 critic

Pilgrimage (1933)

Approved | | Drama | 18 August 1933 (USA)
A possessive mother pushes her son into World War I service rather than see him get married.



On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Doctor Bull (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Doc Bull, a no-nonsense country doctor who has served his community for decades, fights small-town prejudice and provincialism in several crises.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Marian Nixon, Vera Allen
The Hurricane (1937)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Polynesian sailor -- unjustly imprisoned after defending himself against a colonial bully -- is relentlessly persecuted by his island's martinet French governor.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Mary Astor
Judge Priest (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Tom Brown, Anita Louise
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Richard Girard is part of a New Orleans family working closely with the English Warburtons. When Richard meets Mary Warburton she is engaged to Erik von Gerardt. He does wed Mary but their time in America is financially difficult.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Madeleine Carroll, Franchot Tone, Reginald Denny
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Louisiana con man enters his steamboat into a winner-take-all race with a rival while trying to find a witness to free his nephew, about to be hung for murder.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb
Four Sons (1928)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga in which three of a Bavarian widow's sons go to war for Germany and the fourth goes to America, Germany's eventual opponent.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Hall, Margaret Mann, Charles Morton
3 Bad Men (1926)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three outlaws come to the aid of a young girl after her father is killed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: George O'Brien, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen
The Informer (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

"Citizen" Hogan, an exile Irish patriot, risks his life by returning to Ireland and helping a young couple.

Director: John Ford
Stars: June Collyer, Larry Kent, Victor McLaglen
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as mayor of a U.S. town for the last time.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster
Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, Constance Towers
Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The sons of a disgraced British officer try to clear his name.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Loretta Young, Richard Greene, George Sanders


Complete credited cast:
Mrs. Hannah Jessop
Jim 'Jimmy' Jessop
Mrs. Kelly Hatfield
Gary Worth
Mary Saunders
Jay Ward ...
Jimmy Saunders
Maj. Albertson
Mrs. Rogers
Janet Prescot
Mayor Elmer Briggs
Dad Saunders
Mrs. Worth
Frances Rich ...
The Nurse


A possessive mother pushes her son into World War I service rather than see him get married.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

18 August 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peregrinação  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Becoming John Ford (2007) See more »


Dear Little Boy of Mine
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan
Played as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gold Star Mother
25 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

PILGRIMAGE (Fox Films, 1933), directed by John Ford, is an early but memorable sentimental story featuring Henrietta Crosman in a very rare leading role. Not quite a retelling of the Pilgrims voyaging to America on the Mayflower in 1620 as one might be made to believe, but a drama about an elderly woman with a hold on her son's life, only to live to regret it.

Opening title: "The Jessop Home, Three Cedars, Arkansas." Hannah Jessop (Henrietta Crosman) is a widowed farm woman who works hard in both her daily chores and the upbringing of her young adult son, Jim (Norman Foster). However, Jim is unhappy with his life and wants to leave his existence to enlist in the Army as his friends are doing during the World War. Hannah refuses at first, but agrees to let him go to battle rather than having Jim leaving home to marry Mary Saunders (Marion Nixon), a farm girl living just over the fence with her drunkard father (Charley Grapewin). Having told Mary, "I'd rather see Jim dead than married to you," Hannah signs a waver with permission for him to go. She also disinherits Jim for leaving her to be with Mary. Before he's to leave with the other soldiers by train, Jim is told by Mary that she's pregnant. In spite of the news to his superior, Jim is denied temporary leave to marry her. During a stormy night, Hannah awakens from her sleep calling out Jim's name the very moment he is killed in battle, also the very night Mary gives birth to his son. Ten years pass and Hannah still holds a grudge against Mary, even to a point of avoiding any contact with her grandson, Jimmy (Jay Ward), who takes a liking to his late father's dog, Susie. Mayor Elmer Briggs (Francis Ford) and others in his committee select Hannah to go on a pilgrimage to France along with other "Gold Star Mothers" to visit the graves of their military sons. While in France, Hannah refuses to go to the cemetery until she encounters a troubled youth named Gary Worth (Maurice Murphy), drunk, confused and wanting to jump off a bridge to suicide. After taking him to his apartment, Hannah learns the young man is going through the same issues with his domineering mother (Hedda Hopper) over the love of a girl named Suzanne (Heather Angel), the same situation that occurred years before between her and her son, thus, seeing herself for the first time to whom she really was as seen through the eyes of little Jim.

PILGRIMAGE is a good film, a very good film that has been underrated and forgotten throughout the years. In spite the fact that it's directed by four-time Academy Award winning John Ford, possibly one of the reasons for it never to be selected as one of Ford's top ten best films is due to the fact of having any top marquee names as Marie Dressler, for example. Granted, had PILGRIMAGE been filmed only a few years later, it probably would have featured, for example, Janet Gaynor as Mary; May Robson as Hannah; and Henry Fonda as Jim. Other capable actresses as Louise Dresser or Marjorie Rambeau might have handled the role just as well, but Henrietta Crosman, a theater actress with limited movie roles dating back to the silent film era, was chosen to carry the entire 96 minutes, and she does it quite well. Aside from her strong performance, her scene walking through the cemetery in France to visit her son's grave is both heartfelt and noteworthy. Others featured in the cast are Robert Warwick (Major Albertson); Betty Blythe (Janet Prescott); Louise Carter (Mrs. Rogers, the other mother who shares the cabin with Hannah); and Jack Pennick (The Sergeant). Lucille LaVerne, best known for playing old hags dating back in the silent movie days of D.W. Griffith, nearly steals it with her small performance as Mrs. Hatfield, another Gold Star mother of three deceased sons who not only befriends Hannah, but causes raised eyebrows by smoking a pipe in public. She and Crosman have lighter moments together to an otherwise dramatic story where they show how good there are at a shooting gallery. Marion Nixon and Jay Ward are equally unforgettable as both mother and son longing to connect with Hannah.

A worthwhile story that has had limited television broadcasts throughout the years: WFSB, Channel 3, Hartford, Connecticut (1974); WNET, Channel 13, New York City (1992); and cable channels as BRAVO (1987-88); American Movie Classics (August 1999 as part of its John Ford tribute); Fox Movie Channel and Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: December 10, 2007). Aside from availability on DVD with John Ford's BORN RECKLESS (Fox, 1933) on the flip-side, PILGRIMAGE remains very much an obscure film that needs to be observed and studied, not for the directorial style of John Ford, but for the best movie performance ever given by the long forgotten Henrietta Crosman. (****)

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial