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The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director:

Sidney Franklin

Writers:

Rudolph Besier (from the play by) (as Rudolf Besier), Ernest Vajda (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Shearer ... Elizabeth Barrett
Fredric March ... Robert Browning
Charles Laughton ... Edward Moulton-Barrett
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Henrietta Barrett
Katharine Alexander ... Arabel Barrett
Ralph Forbes ... Captain Surtees Cook
Marion Clayton Anderson Marion Clayton Anderson ... Bella Hedley (as Marion Clayton)
Ian Wolfe ... Harry Bevan
Ferdinand Munier Ferdinand Munier ... Dr. Chambers
Una O'Connor ... Wilson
Leo G. Carroll ... Dr. Ford-Waterlow (as Leo Carroll)
Vernon Downing Vernon Downing ... Octavius Barrett
Neville Clark Neville Clark ... Charles Barrett
Matthew Smith Matthew Smith ... George Barrett
Robert Carleton Robert Carleton ... Alfred Barrett
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Storyline

In 1845 London, the Barrett family is ruled with an iron fist by its stern widowed patriarch, Edward Moulton-Barrett. His nine grown children are afraid of him more than they love him. One of his rules is that none of his children are allowed to marry, which does not sit well with youngest daughter Henrietta as she loves and wants to marry Captain Surtees Cook. Of the nine, the one exception is his daughter Elizabeth, who abides faithfully to her father's wishes. Elizabeth does not think too much about the non-marriage rule as she has an unknown chronic illness which has kept her bedridden. She feels her life will not be a long one. With her time, she writes poetry, which she shares by correspondence with another young poet, Robert Browning. Elizabeth's outlook on her life changes when she meets Mr. Browning for the first time, he who has fallen in love with her without even having met her. She, in return, falls in love with him after their meeting. With Mr. Browning's love and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When poets love, Heaven and Earth fall back to watch!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Alliance See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

A modern source lists Robert Bolder in the role of "Old Man" and Margaret Seddon as cast members, but they were not seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When the Barrett children are gathered around the piano listening to Elizabeth sing, one of the sons can be caught looking directly into the camera lens, and then trying to divert his look. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Chambers: You know, the fact is, a change from these surroundings would do you a world of good. Italy's the place for you!
Elizabeth Barrett: Italy? Oh, no Doctor. This is my Italy.
Dr. Chambers: Rubbish. That's just it. You don't want to go anywhere. You don't want to see anybody. Confound it, my dear, isn't there something you want to do?
Elizabeth Barrett: Yes. And I'm doing it. I'm writing poetry. And there are those you think it isn't such bad poetry. Mr. Robert Browning has sent me several letters of approval.
Dr. Chambers: Browning? Never heard of him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in It's a Date (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Brown Jug
(1869) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Joseph Winner
Sung by Norma Shearer, Maureen O'Sullivan, Katharine Alexander, Vernon Downing,
Neville Clark, Matthew Smith, Robert Carleton, Allan Conrad and Peter Hobbes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The earlier and better of the two films
14 July 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This film was later remade by the same director twenty-three years later using nearly the same script. In fact, they are so similar that I definitely would NOT recommend you watch both--it would be way too repetitive. So, instead, I think you should watch this one. My biggest reason is I rarely like remakes unless there was something wrong with the original film and I know it takes little energy or talent to just remake an idea and script that already exist. Plus, in a case like this where two of the stars do such a great job compared to those in the remake (Charles Laughton as the over-controlling patriarch of the family instead of John Gielgud, and Frederic March as the love-struck Robert Browning instead of the totally unknown Bill Travers in the remake). I think that Jennifer Jones might have done a marginally better job than Norma Shearer in the original, but it's awfully close to tell. There have also been two made for TV versions, though I have never seen them and unless the story is much different, I have no desire to see them.

Once again, why see a re-tread when the original is a very, very good film.


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