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The Age of Innocence (1934)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 14 September 1934 (USA)
An engaged attorney and a divorcee fall for each other in 1870s Manhattan.

Director:

Philip Moeller

Writers:

Sarah Y. Mason (screen play), Victor Heerman (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Ellen
John Boles ... Newland Archer
Lionel Atwill ... Julius Beaufort
Helen Westley ... Granny Mingott
Laura Hope Crews ... Mrs. Welland
Julie Haydon ... May Welland
Barry O'Moore ... Mr. Welland (as Herbert Yost)
Theresa Maxwell Conover ... Mrs. Archer
Edith Van Cleve Edith Van Cleve ... Jane Archer
Leonard Carey ... The Butler
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Storyline

Dallas Archer, a young man who comes from a New York family of means, is in love with a married woman, Mrs. Armstrong, who is contemplating divorce due to no longer loving her own husband. Members of his family know about the affair and have openly stated their displeasure in Dallas' behavior except for his grandfather, Newland Archer. Dallas expects that his grandfather's silence has something to do with an issue from his own past. As such, Dallas asks him for the truth as opposed to the rumors about that issue. That issue, which happened when Newland was around Dallas' age, was his engagement to May Welland, but he who ended up falling in love with May's married first cousin, Ellen, the Countess Olenska, upon her return to New York from Europe as she contemplated divorcing the Count for no longer loving him, love which she wanted in her life regardless of the scandal of divorce. Ellen ended up finding that love with Newland. In asking his grandfather, Dallas has an ulterior motive ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French | Italian

Release Date:

14 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La edad de la inocencia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (R C A Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to a contemporary news item in Film Daily, Katharine Hepburn was considered for the role of Ellen. See more »

Goofs

As evidenced by a dated letter, Newland assisted Ellen with her divorce case in August 1879. Newland and May were married just after the following Easter, which would make it 1879. After returning from their honeymoon, they receive an invitation for a party on Wednesday, October 2nd. That would be correct if it was still 1878, but in 1879, October 2nd was a Thursday. See more »

Quotes

Newland Archer: What's this I hear about you having an affair of the heart? I thought I was the only one who could make it flutter?
Granny Manson Mingott: Well, when a girl of my age will eat chicken salad at night, what can you expect?
See more »

Connections

References All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

None But the Lonely Heart
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played during the opening credits and often as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
adaptation of Edith Wharton novel
18 October 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

This "Age of Innocence" from 1934, of course, cannot even approach the sumptuous beauty.amazing acting, and rich story-telling of the Martin Scorsese "Age of Innocence" from 1993 starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

The 1934 movie stars Irene Dunne as Ellen, John Boles as Newland, and Julie Haydon as May.

The story is told in flashback by the elderly Newland. As a young attorney in the late 1800s, he was engaged to May when her cousin Ellen came to visit from Europe. She plans to divorce her husband and is a social outcast, as these things were never done. Newland and Ellen fall in love. Do they defy convention and marry? Or does Newland marry May as promised?

Irene Dunne is lovely as Ellen. She was an actress who could do comedy and drama. John Boles was a huge star and not a tremendous actor. That kind of look was considered attractive way back when; today it has gone out of style.

There are good performances, but there is no way to watch this film after seeing the Scorsese film. It is studio-made, looks dull, and is dull. This is a story with a great deal of depth that seems untouched here -- lots going on underneath all the gentility, the trap of conventions -- here told as an ordinary story.

Helen Westley is wonderful as the cousins' grandmother, as is Laura Hope Crews as Dunne's aunt and May's mother. Lionel Atwill is also on hand as a married man who is a friend of Dunne's, an unacceptable situation.

The novel was also adapted into a play, on Broadway starring Katherine Cornell as Ellen and Franchot Tone as Newland.

If you haven't seen the stunning Scorsese film, see it.


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