12 user 10 critic

The Life of Vergie Winters (1934)

Passed | | Drama | 22 June 1934 (USA)
John Shadwell, a promising politician, is married to Laura but is in love with Vergie Winters, a milliner from his home town. As Shadwell's political career blooms, gossip and rumors begin ... See full summary »


Alfred Santell


Jane Murfin (screen play), Louis Bromfield (story)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Harding ... Vergie Winters
John Boles ... John Shadwell
Helen Vinson ... Laura Shadwell
Betty Furness ... Joan Shadwell
Frank Albertson ... Ranny Truesdale
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Hugo McQueen (as Creighton Chaney)
Sara Haden ... Winnie Belle
Molly O'Day ... Sadie
Ben Alexander ... Barry Preston
Donald Crisp ... Mike Davey
Maidel Turner ... Ella Heenan
Cecil Cunningham ... Pearl Turner
Wesley Barry ... Herbert Somerby
Edward Van Sloan ... Jim Winters
Josephine Whittell ... Madame Claire
Learn more

More Like This 

Man Wanted (1932)
Romance | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A female editor of a magazine falls in love with her male secretary.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Kay Francis, David Manners, Una Merkel
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After crooked nightclub owner Chips Maguire murders a police informant, he blackmails his piano player to allow him to stay at his eccentric mother's boarding house.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Jeffrey Lynn
Bed of Roses (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former prostitute, determined to reform upon leaving prison, falls in love with a cotton barge owner and must choose between him and her banker lover.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, John Halliday
Craig's Wife (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A domineering woman marries a wealthy man for his money, and then uses her position to further her own ambitions for money and power.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Rosalind Russell, John Boles, Billie Burke
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
Little Caesar (1931)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell
Jewel Robbery (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron's wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jewellers.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A minority stockholder takes on the crooked board of directors at a billion dollar corporation.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Judy Holliday, John Williams, Paul Douglas
Scandal Sheet (1952)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The editor of an exploitation newspaper commits a murder and assigns his protégé to investigate hoping to divert attention away from himself.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Derek, Donna Reed, Broderick Crawford
Gallant Lady (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Unwed mother gives up baby for adoption and hopes to get it back when the adoptive mother dies.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Ann Harding, Clive Brook, Otto Kruger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A promising lawyer tries to handle his social and professional problems while climbing the ranks in Philadelphia.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Paul Newman, Barbara Rush, Alexis Smith


John Shadwell, a promising politician, is married to Laura but is in love with Vergie Winters, a milliner from his home town. As Shadwell's political career blooms, gossip and rumors begin to cause Vergie to be shunned by the women of the town. Soon the two are constantly faced with the threat of exposure and scandal. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CAN A MAN EVER KNOW WHAT A WOMAN GOES THROUGH...FOR LOVE! (Print ad- Albany Times-Union, ((Albany, NY)) 7 July 1934) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was a mild success at the box office, earning RKO a profit of $84,000 ($1.56M in 2017) according to studio records. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


John Shadwell: Vergie, you didn't marry Hugo McQueen?
Vergie Winters: I never intended to.
John Shadwell: Your father said you did.
Vergie Winters: Was that why you left, without saying goodbye?
John Shadwell: He told me that, he said that...
Vergie Winters: He said what, John?
John Shadwell: He said it was necessary that Hugo marry you.
See more »


London Bridge is Falling Down
Traditional nursery song
Played as part of the score for scene of children playing
See more »

User Reviews

Ann Harding pre-code tearjerker features the surprise casting of Lon Chaney Jr.
4 July 2015 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1934's "The Life of Vergie Winters" was an RKO vehicle for fading early talkie star Ann Harding, well cast as an unselfish woman, Virgie Winters, foolishly cast aside by her former lover John Shadwell (John Boles), who was told by Vergie's father Jim (Edward Van Sloan) that she intended to marry his assistant, good natured Hugo McQueen (Lon Chaney Jr.). Marrying on the rebound to Laura (Helen Vinson), whose father offered Vergie's father $10,000 to assure that the wedding take place, John later returns to Vergie to proclaim his true love, after she has made a success selling hats to ladies in a millinery shop. Vergie does not want any scandal attached to John's name as his rise in politics is swift and assured, John's wife only interested in the prestige of being Mrs. John Shadwell. Vergie even goes so far as to give up her love child with John, sending their newborn daughter off to Washington to live with her father, remaining ignorant of her parentage throughout childhood (future Nancy Drew Bonita Granville enjoys a showy bit as the young Joan Shadwell). Only at the end, after John attends his daughter's wedding, does he attempt to make a clean break from his clinging spouse, who has known about his affair with Vergie for many years, and refuses to grant him a divorce. Everything that female moviegoers would expect from such a story is present, right through to the expectedly downbeat finale, so it's up to the cast to offer their own interpretations to carry off various subplots (a bit too many I should think). Appearing uncredited is Walter Brennan, whose timely bit of spying precipitates Vergie's fall from grace with the town gossips, as well as the unmistakable Edwin Maxwell, cast in his usual role as orator (I guess John Carradine was unavailable). Speaking of Carradine, his future co-star Lon Chaney is present in the 6th billed role of Hugo McQueen, still billed under his real name, Creighton Chaney (this was only his 8th film), a nice change of pace though on screen (until the very end) for only the first 15 minutes (still at his original studio, RKO). Ann Harding's performance in the title role is certainly acceptable, but the film was not the hoped-for box office success she anticipated, the newly enforced Hays code preventing such adult frankness in future movie projects.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 June 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vergie Winters See more »


Box Office


$331,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed