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Peter Ibbetson (1935)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 7 November 1935 (USA)
Architect Peter Ibbetson is hired by the Duke of Towers to design a building for him. Ibbetson discovers that the Duchess of Towers, Mary, is his now-grown childhood sweetheart. Their love ... See full summary »

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Vincent Lawrence (screenplay), Waldemar Young (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Peter Ibbetson
Ann Harding ... Mary - Duchess of Towers
John Halliday ... The Duke of Towers
Ida Lupino ... Agnes
Douglass Dumbrille ... Col. Forsythe
Virginia Weidler ... Mimsey - Mary Age 6
Dickie Moore ... Gogo - Peter Age 8
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Dorian
Gilbert Emery ... Wilkins
Donald Meek ... Mr. Slade
Christian Rub ... Maj. Duquesnois
Elsa Buchanan Elsa Buchanan ... Madame Pasquier
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert Evans ... Undetermined Secondary Role (scenes deleted)
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Undetermined Secondary Role (scenes deleted)
Bodil Rosing ... Undetermined Supporting Role (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Architect Peter Ibbetson is hired by the Duke of Towers to design a building for him. Ibbetson discovers that the Duchess of Towers, Mary, is his now-grown childhood sweetheart. Their love revives, but Peter is sentenced to life in prison for an accidental killing. Mary comes to him in dreams and they are able to live out their romance in a dream world. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love...born in the simple hearts of children...loving gloriously...triumphant through the years! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 November 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sueño de amor eterno See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount 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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In the film's first scene, as Gogo is leaving his mother's bedroom he passes a mirror in which the reflection of a crew member is briefly visible. See more »

Quotes

Mary - Duchess of Towers: But you needn't be afraid, Peter. The strangest things are true and the truest things are strange.
See more »

Connections

Version of Forever (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Serious, Memorable and Deserving
12 February 2007 | by DAHLRUSSELLSee all my reviews

This 1933 Gary Cooper film is highly regarded and mentioned in many film books. It was a serious film in tone and content, and also in it's techniques. Initially, it seems a rather bland melodrama about two childhood sweethearts who are parted then reunited. The blandness is somewhat heightened by the visual blandness of Ann Harding, the female star. (She is blonde, but very visually monochromatic… minimal eyebrows or eye make-up, which makes her seem very very plain, even though she is pretty.) This was the "taste of the times" for a serious "good" woman, and the reason I have this listed as an 8 is that it is definitely dated, and will be much too slow for many viewers.

The story is about dreams and architecture, so keep an eye on the buildings, there are really inventive and beautiful buildings. The stable that is supposed to be "horrible" is like a forest cottage in a fairy tale. The child casting at the beginning is funny by today's standards of continuity. These actually are pretty good child actors for the time – not cloying or overly precious - but the boy's coloring is quite dissimilar to the adult. Big brown eyes of the boy becoming the famous baby blues of Cooper. But let these things go, and the early scenes are an effective and emotionally effective set up for the payoff.

The best part of the film comes in the last third. Suddenly, we are in an expressive fantasy – completely grounded in the earlier part, but also completely different. Not only are the effects here still magical, reminiscent of Durer etchings, but they are also really overwhelming when we think about how difficult it was to achieve these effects in this time period. (Any thing that fades in or out - this had to be done by re-filming with the same piece of film, etc.) While never named, it is clearly colored by the "astral body" theories of the Eastern religions that were popular in Hollywood at the time, having a strong influence on art, architecture, and design during this period.

Ultimately this is a beautiful and memorable film about the strength of love, dreams, and the triumph of pure heart. This makes for a very quiet but powerful film. (Quiet and powerful became the hallmark of Cooper's screen character.) The strength of this film is its simplicity of message, and the really memorable and soulful performance of Cooper.


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