6.3/10
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White Woman (1933)

Passed | | Drama | 10 November 1933 (USA)
A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and ... See full summary »

Director:

Stuart Walker

Writers:

Samuel Hoffenstein (screenplay), Gladys Lehman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Judith Denning
Charles Laughton ... Horace H. Prin
Charles Bickford ... Ballister
Kent Taylor ... David von Elst
Percy Kilbride ... Jakey
James Bell ... Hambly
Charles Middleton ... Fenton (as Charles B. Middleton)
Claude King ... C.M. Chisholm
Ethel Griffies ... Mrs. Chisholm
James Dime ... Vaegi
Marc Lawrence ... Connors
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Storyline

A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and the plantation's overseer develop a mutual attraction, but are terrified at what will happen if her husband finds out. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rubber | racism | jealousy | africa | jungle | See All (5) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bela zena See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures 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

When Carole Lombard hears the jungle drums she makes the startling remark (for a not overly sophisticated picture about lust in the jungle) that the rhythm reminds her of Ravel's "Bolero." It's a bit less surprising, though, when one considers it as a bit of advance promotion: Lombard's next picture was Bolero, in which the Ravel piece is used for the climactic dance number. See more »

Quotes

Ballister: Time you loosened up a bit. It's taken you longer than it takes most of them to give me a tumble. Come on now, Baby, chuck the high hat.
Judith Denning: Did you think I was singing for you?
Ballister: Trying to get the old man's goat, huh? What's the matter, don't he care for music?
Ballister: Quit kidding yourself, pal. You could do a lot worse in this hole than give me a tumble. I've had my eye on you ever since I stepped on this tub. Yeah, and you've known I'm here too, haven't you? Come on, now, say it. I've watched those big ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Island of Lost Men (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

He's a Cute Brute
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Carole Lombard (dubbed by Mona Lowe)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very entertaining uncensored Jean Harlow-esque flick
16 April 2018 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

You're going to have to get past the title of this movie. Carole Lombard plays the title character. She's a singer in a Malaysian nightclub, and since at that time it was pretty scandalous for a white woman to hang around "natives", the other white people look down on her. Also, her first husband committed suicide, so Carole has quite a bit of stigma attached to her. Before she's "run out of town on a rail"-in the words of Lionel Barrymore in It's a Wonderful Life-wealthy plantation owner Charles Laughton proposes marriage.

If you're familiar with Jean Harlow's films, you'll enjoy White Woman ten-fold. After only reading the above paragraph, I'm sure you're picturing Jean's character from Reckless. Then, when Carole marries Charles and relocates to his rubber factory, you'll be reminded of Jean's film from 1932: Red Dust. White Woman is so obviously Paramount's answer to Jean Harlow and Red Dust, it's mind-boggling. I've seen Carole Lombard in her classic screwball comedies, and she's completely different in this romantic drama. She looks like Jean Harlow, she speaks like Jean Harlow, she holds her shoulders like Jean Harlow-it's as if director Stuart Walker told her, "We've got to take the attention away from MGM. Be Jean Harlow's clone." In her imitation of Jean, Carole's performance is excellent. She comes across as a beautiful, serious dramatic actress, which is not how her career is usually remembered.

Charles Laughton plays the cuckolded husband, and his Cockney persona is very entertaining to watch. In a way, he plays a very obsessive character, obsessed with cruel pranks. As Charles Bickford got third billing, I thought Carole would fall in love with him, but he's crude and coarse, and she prefers the gentle romance of Kent Taylor. Charles Bickford's blatantly sexual dialogue is very funny and shocking for the time period, so if you get a kick out of pre-Code nasty films, you'll want to watch this one. Also, there's quite a bit of violence in the story, which, had it been made one or two years later, wouldn't have been allowed. The violence is chilling and graphic, yet another reason to appreciate this uncensored old flick.

Kiddy Warning: Obviously, you have control over your own children. However, since there's an upsetting scene involving an animal, I wouldn't let my kids watch it.


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