15 user 16 critic

Chatterbox (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 January 1936 (USA)
Jenny has always been fascinated with the stage, especially since her mother was a famous actress. She learns that a theatrical company is putting on the play that included her mother's ... See full summary »


George Nichols Jr. (as George Nicholls Jr.)


David Carb (play), Sam Mintz (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Anne Shirley ... Jenny Yates
Phillips Holmes ... Philip 'Phil' Greene Jr
Edward Ellis ... Uriah Lowell
Erik Rhodes ... Mr. Archie Fisher
Margaret Hamilton ... Emily 'Tippie' Tipton
Granville Bates ... Philip Greene Sr
Allen Vincent ... Mr. Harrison
Lucille Ball ... Lillian Temple
George Offerman Jr. ... Michael Arbuckle
Maxine Jennings Maxine Jennings ... Self


Jenny has always been fascinated with the stage, especially since her mother was a famous actress. She learns that a theatrical company is putting on the play that included her mother's most famous role. She leaves home to join the company. The trouble is, she doesn't realize that the producers consider the moth-eaten play high camp, while Jenny is taking the whole thing seriously. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ANN SHIRLEY IN A HEART STORMING STORY OF A STAGE STRUCK RED HEAD (Print Ad- Poughkeepsie Star-Enterprise, ((Poughkeepsie NY)) 26 March 1936)


Comedy | Drama | Romance



Did You Know?


Henry Brandon was in a Hollywood Reporter production chart as a cast member (listed as Henry Kleinbach), but he was not in the film. See more »


Jenny comes back home from the play to find the door bolted. She previously left the house with her diary in her coat and returns with a program which she throws the way. Later, when Phil discovers her in the rumble seat of his car, the very large "Compendium" book is seen on the back seat, then she is clutching it while talking to his landlord. It is not shown how she got the huge book out of her house, and took nothing else. See more »


Referenced in Wanderlust (2006) See more »


Oh! Susanna
Written by Stephen Foster
Played on a banjo in the New York show and sung by the maid
See more »

User Reviews

A good little movie that could have been more
17 May 2010 | by lionel-libson-1See all my reviews

Once in a while a film shows up on TCM that is a small gem from the past. "Chatterbox" is just such a film. Set mostly in a small town, it stars Anne Shirley, little-known today, an actress who gave up a career in film while in her twenties. She lives in a mind-world of the late 1800's, a world of genteel manners, romantic writing, and little sense of irony. Her mother had been a noted actress and Shirley aspired to the same. The charm of the film lies in its detailed portrayal of small-town America. There is an honesty in the dialogue and behavior.

Without divulging too much plot, I must add that the revelation was Erik Rhodes, the pencil-mustachioed, gigolo of Astaire-Rogers movies, here, sans moustache,and Italian accent, a Broadway wise guy director.Throw in a very young and very blonde Lucille Ball and you have a diverting entertainment. The scene of Shirley's stage performance is wonderful.

Look for this film as a memento of an earlier, more innocent age.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

17 January 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Long Ago Ladies See more »

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

Recently Viewed