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Fashions of 1934 (1934)

When the Manhattan investment firm of Sherwood Nash goes broke, he joins forces with his partner Snap and fashion designer Lynn Mason to provide discount shops with cheap copies of Paris couture dresses.


William Dieterle


F. Hugh Herbert (screen play), Carl Erickson (screen play) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Powell ... Sherwood Nash
Bette Davis ... Lynn Mason
Frank McHugh ... Snap
Hugh Herbert ... Joe Ward
Verree Teasdale ... Mabel McGuire aka The Duchess
Reginald Owen ... Oscar Baroque
Henry O'Neill ... Duryea
Phillip Reed ... Jimmy
Gordon Westcott ... Harry Brent
Dorothy Burgess ... Glenda
Etienne Girardot ... Glass
William Burress William Burress ... Feldman
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Van Tyle
Spencer Charters ... Man Removing Telephone
George Humbert George Humbert ... Caponelli


Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. When they try to steal the latest Baroque designs hidden cameras capture them. Threat and counterthreat lead to the suggestion of putting on a legitimate show. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Secret Affair in Paris! Racy, Spicy, Joyous! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Musical


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English | French

Release Date:

14 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The King of Fashion See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The studio made Bette Davis wear a blonde wig and dressed her in high fashion which she hated, but she was trying to please studio boss Jack L. Warner so that he would loan her out to RKO for the role of Mildred in Of Human Bondage (1934) - a part she desperately wanted to play and which would make her a star. See more »


When Harry delivers the dresses to Sherwood Nash, the vehicle he is driving has the company name "Duryea" on the side. But the uniform cap Harry is wearing has the name spelled differently as "Duryea's". See more »


Doorman at Maison Elegance: Monsieur, Monsieur; Madame has just arrived!
See more »


Featured in Three Cheers for the Girls (1943) See more »


Broken Melody
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
(part of "Spin a Little Web of Dreams")
See more »

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User Reviews

Crooks & Feathers
26 November 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A genial racketeer and his assorted companions hope to become very rich by stealing the FASHIONS OF 1934.

Here is another example of the Pre-Code comedy crime caper film which Warner Bros. seemed to produce so effortlessly in the early 1930's. Featuring good production values, witty dialogue, slick acting & utterly inconsequential in actual value, these movies were sure to be crowd pleasers and theater fillers.

Affably sophisticated, William Powell is a fine crook, a rogue the movie audience can feel comfortable rooting for. He makes his life of larceny seem almost casual. Playing his artistic associate, Bette Davis not only scores in the acting department (admittedly not very demanding), but she also looks fabulous, an instant refutation to anyone who ever thought she never looked glamorous on the screen. Through all the fluff & feathers she drops a few hints to the talent she would eventually unleash.

The supporting cast is very commendable. Whimsical Hugh Herbert, as the California Ostrich King, gets to showcase his quirky humor. Frank McHugh scores as Powell's haplessly lecherous gofer. Lovely Verree Teasdale stirs up the plot as a Russian noblewoman who is not all she seems. Blustery Reginald Owen is a French couturier who runs afoul of Powell; Henry O'Neill and chittering little Etienne Girardot are New York fashion designers who also are confronted by the gang's duplicitous dealings. Handsome Philip Reed is the talented musician who is Powell's romantic rival for Bette's affections.

Movie mavens will spot Arthur Treacher as Miss Teasdale's butler, Jane Darwell as an enthusiastic Parisian customer & Hobart Cavanaugh, hilarious in the film's final moments as a desperate worm breeder; all appear uncredited.

One of the film's greatest assets is a musical production number created by the legendary Busby Berkeley. Meant to showcase ostrich feathers, 'Spin A Little Web Of Dreams' is a dazzler with Busby's trademark identical blonde showgirls whirling through complicated circular movements & patterns. It is one of his most charming successes.

Mention should be made of Orry-Kelly's fashions, which really are quite special.

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