24 user 6 critic

The Shining Hour (1938)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 18 November 1938 (USA)
A nightclub dancer marries into society and has to contend with her jealous sister-in-law.


Frank Borzage


Jane Murfin (screen play), Ogden Nash (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Olivia Riley
Margaret Sullavan ... Judy Linden
Robert Young ... David Linden
Melvyn Douglas ... Henry Linden
Fay Bainter ... Hannah Linden
Allyn Joslyn ... Roger Q. Franklin
Hattie McDaniel ... Belvedere
Oscar O'Shea ... Charlie Collins
Frank Albertson ... Benny Collins
Harry Barris ... Bertie


A nightclub dancer marries into society and has to contend with her jealous sister-in-law.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Proibida See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hannah quotes from Proverbs 26:xxvii: "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein." See more »


Hannah Linden: Coffee, David?
David Linden: I don't want any.
Hannah Linden: You should. You've had no sleep.
David Linden: I'm quite aware of that, Hannah. I don't want any coffee. I tell ya I don't want any!
Hannah Linden: David!
David Linden: Oh stop Daviding me. Minding other people's business. That's what's wrong with you, you haven't enough of your own. Well I'll give you some!
[picks coffee cup up and smashes it on the floor]
David Linden: There, get busy with that. Lots of little pieces, Hannah, just for you. Try to put them together again. We'll all be busy doing that!
See more »


Featured in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »


Sleepy Time Gal
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Ange Lorenzo and Richard A. Whiting
Played by the band at the housewarming
See more »

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User Reviews

Margaret shines brightest
17 January 2014 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

High class soap opera with the MGM sheen and a cast of great actors. Joan's a respectable if restless performer who marries Melvyn Douglas on a whim and goes back to his family home where trouble awaits and that's when the fun begins.

The story of family animosity and dangerous attraction isn't anything new but as presented here by these super professionals and director Borzage they find ways to make it compelling.

Joan is unquestionably the star of this enterprise and she holds her own with the strong cast that surrounds her while looking glamorous and suffering nobly.

Fay Bainter turns her usual warm and understanding persona on its ear as a harridan twisted by jealousy and bitterness. Robert Young turns in good work as a bit of a weasel and Melvyn Douglas although Joan titular co-star really doesn't have much to do and is absent from a good deal of the film but he does what is required of him with his usual skill. The marvelous Hattie McDaniel has a tiny role as Joan's maid with the improbable name of Belvedere and injects a small dose of levity into the heavy going dramatics.

Good though they may be and Joan is the queen of this little opus they are all outshone by one of their fellow actors. Margaret Sullavan as Young wife gives a performance of such quiet beauty she wipes anyone else off the screen whenever she's on it. An actress of great skill and subtle intensity she makes her Judy a character that seems far more real and relatable than anybody else on screen. Her output was small, only 16 films in total, but she always had a vivid and alive presence on screen.

If you enjoy dramas with an adult, if a tad melodramatic, outlook enacted by talented performers this is for you.

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