13 user 5 critic

What Every Woman Knows (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 19 October 1934 (USA)
The story takes place in Scotland, where plain Maggie Wylie's family, fearing she may become a spinster, finances young John Shand's studies in return for his agreement to marry her in five... See full summary »


Gregory La Cava


J.M. Barrie (play) (as Sir James Matthew Barrie), Monckton Hoffe (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Helen Hayes ... Maggie Wylie
Brian Aherne ... John Shand
Madge Evans ... Lady Sybil Tenterden
Lucile Watson ... La Contessa la Brierre
Dudley Digges ... James Wylie
Donald Crisp ... Mr. David Wylie
David Torrence ... Alick Wylie
Henry Stephenson ... Charles Venables
Learn more

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The story takes place in Scotland, where plain Maggie Wylie's family, fearing she may become a spinster, finances young John Shand's studies in return for his agreement to marry her in five years. Recognizing his ambitions, Maggie helps to guide his career without his realizing it. He honors his commitment, even though he does not feel real love for her as she does for him. Will he succumb to the wiles of young aristocratic beauty Sybil, or learn to appreciate Maggie's true worth? Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Helen HAYES triumphs in this great drama of a girl who fought for her lover against the world. (Print Ad- Spartanburg Herald, ((Spartanburg SC)) 16 January 1935)




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Philadelphia Thursday 21 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6) , followed by Los Angeles 19 April 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), by Chicago 3 June 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Seattle 18 June 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Syracuse 26 June 1957 on WHEN (Channel 8), by Memphis 30 July 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13), by Indianapolis 19 November 1957 on WLW-I (Channel 13), by New Haven CT 22 November 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), and by Minneapolis 26 November 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); its television premiere in San Francisco occurred 2 June 1959 on KGO (Channel 7), but there is no documentation of its airing in New York City until Saturday 3 June 1961 when it was unloaded on the Late, Late Show by WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


Alick Wylie: What is charm exactly, Maggie?
Maggie Wylie: Oh, it's... it's a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don't need anything else. And if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have. Some women, a few, have charm for all, and most have charm for one, and some have charm for none.
See more »


Version of What Every Woman Knows (1917) See more »


Loch Lomond
Traditional Scottish folk song
Sung during the opening credits by tenor Larry Burke
Played on piano by Helen Hayes and sung by her, David Torrence, Brian Aherne,
Donald Crisp and Janet Murdoch
Hummed by Brian Aherne
Played as background music often
See more »

User Reviews

Brilliant Casting and Direction
13 March 2005 | by bruce-316See all my reviews

Brilliantly constructed movie and the casting is spot on. Intriguing plot - this movie is one that needs to be watched at least twice to pick up the details missed the first time around - maybe the Scottish accents need some adjusting to - If you know the perception of Scottish frugality (especially by those south of the border) the movie really has some hugely comical moments, such as the taxi scene, the newspaper that was never purchased and the expensive shawl moment. Helen Hayes plays the adoring wife of a young politician precisely and the plot has a very positive and surprising ending to what seems like an impossible situation. They just don't make 'em like this any more. I watched this movie for the first time this year (2005) and my only regret is not having seen it years ago - get a copy is my advice and enjoy!

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English | French

Release Date:

19 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Every Woman Knows See more »


Box Office


$428,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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