7.1/10
658
19 user 12 critic

Magnificent Obsession (1935)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 30 December 1935 (USA)
The life of spoiled rich Robert Merrick is saved through the use of a hospital's only resuscitator, but because the medical device cannot be in two places at once, it results in the death ... See full summary »

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writers:

Sarah Y. Mason (screenplay), Victor Heerman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Helen Hudson
Robert Taylor ... Robert Merrick
Charles Butterworth ... Tommy Masterson
Betty Furness ... Joyce Hudson
Sara Haden ... Mrs. Nancy Ashford
Ralph Morgan ... Randolph
Henry Armetta ... Tony
Gilbert Emery ... Doctor Ramsay
Arthur Treacher ... Horace
Beryl Mercer ... Mrs. Eden
Alyce Ardell ... The French Maid
Theodore von Eltz ... Dr. Preston
Sidney Bracey ... Butler
Arthur Hoyt ... Perry
Cora Sue Collins ... Ruth
Edit

Storyline

The life of spoiled rich Robert Merrick is saved through the use of a hospital's only resuscitator, but because the medical device cannot be in two places at once, it results in the death of Dr. Hudson, a selfless, brilliant surgeon and generous philanthropist. Merrick falls for Hudson's widow, Helen, though she holds him responsible for her husband's demise. One day, he insists on driving her home and makes a pass at her. She gets out of the car and is struck by another car, she then goes blind. Merrick then talks to a friend of Dr. Hudson who tells him that her husband had a philosophy-to help people, but never let it be known that you are the one helping them. Only then, he believed, could there be true reward in life. Merrick watches over Helen, and visits her during her recuperation, concealing his identity and calling himself Dr. Robert. When he finds out that she is nearly penniless, he secretly pays for specialists to try to restore her vision. Finally, she travels to Paris ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hate turned into love! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 December 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le secret magnifique See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 13, 1949 with Irene Dunne reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

When operating on Helen's eyes, Merrick asks for an otoscope. He should have asked for an opthalmoscope, which is what he was using. An otoscope is for ears. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Robert Merrick: Take back to the cook and tell her that if she brings back again, I'm gonna buy this hospital and fire her and everybody else in it. I want some decent breakfast.
Nurse: It's the same breakfast we serve all the patients.
Dr. Robert Merrick: Yeah, but I am "The Special".
See more »

Alternate Versions

All prints now in circulation run 105 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.22 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played under the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
interesting but dated
6 April 2010 | by lewis-51See all my reviews

This movie is a prime example of what I call "dated." Many fine movies made in the 1930s and 40s are definitely NOT dated: Casablanca, The Big Sleep, Dodsworth, Mrs. Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives. It doesn't matter that they were made 60 or 70 years ago, the people are events are fresh and powerful.

Unfortunately, I can't say that about this movie. It tries very hard to be profound and moving. But it is just too contrived. I just can't believe the actions of the main characters are real. Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor do a good enough job acting. But the basic plot and dialog just don't make sense. They are too much aimed to appeal to the tastes and customs of an era and a level of sophistication now gone.

I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'll not go into details.

It did keep surprising me however, and is worth watching if you like movies that are slightly unrealistic romantic soap operas.

  • henry


4 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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