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11 user 3 critic

Enchanted April (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 February 1935 (USA)
For Lotty Wilkins, romance is no longer part of her marriage. In an effort to find what's missing from her life, she and three other women rent an Italian villa for the month of April, ... See full summary »

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Samuel Hoffenstein (screen play), Ray Harris (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ann Harding ... Mrs. Lotty Wilkins
Frank Morgan ... Mellersh Wilkins
Katharine Alexander ... Mrs. Rose Arbuthnot
Reginald Owen ... Henry Arbuthnot
Jane Baxter ... Lady Caroline Dester
Ralph Forbes ... Peppo Briggs
Jessie Ralph ... Mrs. Phoebe Fisher
Charles Judels ... Domenico
Rafaela Ottiano ... Francesca
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Storyline

For Lotty Wilkins, romance is no longer part of her marriage. In an effort to find what's missing from her life, she and three other women rent an Italian villa for the month of April, leaving behind the everyday cares and monotony of their respective lives. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net> and Determined Copy Editor

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

1 February 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aprilie fermecat 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

This film was one of RKO's biggest failures of 1935. This flop hastened Ann Harding's end as a top RKO star. See more »

Quotes

Henry Arbuthnot: [after explosion] I am convinced that a bath in Italy is somewhere between a public function and an eruption of Vesuvius.
See more »

Connections

Version of Enchanted April (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ann Harding's the star but everyone shines in this highly enjoyable early talkie
14 April 2017 | by BrentReidSee all my reviews

Many other reviewers inexplicably focus on how the 1935 adaptation of Enchanted April isn't faithful to the 1922 source novel by Elizabeth von Arnim or is somehow inferior to the longer 1991 version. Sadly for them, they're missing the point. Firstly, this is a work complete in and of itself, and neither enhanced nor diminished by specious comparison to a related work. Secondly, it isn't actually based directly on the novel, but the successful 1925 Broadway play that the novel inspired, hence this being a US as opposed to European-made film. A single viewing makes this fact abundantly clear. What's more, at a mere but adequate 95 minutes, the excellent 1991 version is not – and could not – be faithful to the novel either.

What we do have here is an utterly charming and concise little film that, despite its US studio-bound production, effectively establishes both mood and mise-en-scène, especially by clever use of rear projection, matte paintings and spacious, well-appointed sets. Even within the necessarily limited characterisations and plot development dictated to by its abbreviated running time of 66 minutes, it manages to squeeze in much humour, both subtle and slapstick, wry, witty dialogue and an unexpectedly powerful and poignant ending. Lastly, and perhaps most of all, it leaves you wanting more; what more could one ask of any film? Enchanted April is a masterclass in brevity and economy in its storytelling and filmmaking, and is highly recommended to all fans of early talkies.

As for actually seeing it, aside from infrequent TV airings, as of 2017 is via the only authorised home video release: a 2005 region 2 French DVD on the Editions Montparnasse label, titled Avril enchanté. It features a very clean print from an unconverted NTSC- PAL master, hence its unaltered running time, and optional French subtitles in a small yellow font. Additionally, there is an informative 2½ minute intro – in French, sans sous-titres – by film historian and restorer Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films. Just be careful to avoid the lesser- quality counterfeit Spanish DVD, titled Un Abril Encantado, on the Vértice Cine label.

You're in for a rare treat – enjoy!


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