A Woman Rebels (1936)

88 or 90 mins | Drama | 6 November 1936

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Portrait of a Rebel . Van Heflin made his screen acting debut in the production. According to HR , RKO was slated to borrow Cora Witherspoon from M-G-M for a role, but that actress did not appear in the picture. A HR news item announced Florence Lake as a cast member, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although not credited on the film, Clem Portman is listed in HR production charts as the sound recorder. Modern sources list Portman as music recorder. One modern source claims that Katharine Hepburn agreed to make the picture as a tribute to her suffragette mother, while another states that producer Pandro Berman, who liked Netta Syrett's novel, had to convince Hepburn to take the part. According to modern sources, the film lost $222,000 at the box office. It was Hepburn's third consecutive flop. Modern sources add Marilyn French ( Flora, as infant ) to the cast, and credit Mel Berns with makeup, Nathaniel Shilkret as music director, Roy Webb, who is credited on the film as music director, with the picture's score, and Hermes Pan with choreographing the ballroom ... More Less

The working title of this film was Portrait of a Rebel . Van Heflin made his screen acting debut in the production. According to HR , RKO was slated to borrow Cora Witherspoon from M-G-M for a role, but that actress did not appear in the picture. A HR news item announced Florence Lake as a cast member, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Although not credited on the film, Clem Portman is listed in HR production charts as the sound recorder. Modern sources list Portman as music recorder. One modern source claims that Katharine Hepburn agreed to make the picture as a tribute to her suffragette mother, while another states that producer Pandro Berman, who liked Netta Syrett's novel, had to convince Hepburn to take the part. According to modern sources, the film lost $222,000 at the box office. It was Hepburn's third consecutive flop. Modern sources add Marilyn French ( Flora, as infant ) to the cast, and credit Mel Berns with makeup, Nathaniel Shilkret as music director, Roy Webb, who is credited on the film as music director, with the picture's score, and Hermes Pan with choreographing the ballroom dances. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
28 Oct 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 36
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 36
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
31 Oct 36
pp. 35-38, p. 45.
New York Times
30 Oct 36
p. 27.
Variety
4 Nov 36
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Pandro S. Berman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Portrait of a Rebel by Netta Syrett (New York, 1930).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Portrait of a Rebel
Release Date:
6 November 1936
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 October 1936
Production Date:
30 June--27 August 1936
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 October 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6726
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88 or 90
Length(in feet):
7,954
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2406
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Victorian England, sisters Pamela and Flora Thistlewaite lead a cloistered life, watched over by their repressive father and prim governess. At their "coming out" ball, Flora meets and becomes engaged to Lieutenant Alan Craig Freeland, while independent Pamela catches the eye of roguish Gerald Waring. Spurned by her cold-hearted father, lonely Pamela is easily seduced by Gerald and becomes pregnant by him. After Pamela reveals her condition to Gerald, he tearfully informs her that he is married. Heartbroken, Pamela joins Flora, who is now married and also "expecting," in Italy, and there meets Thomas Lane, a British diplomat. When Flora learns that Alan has been killed in an accident, she collapses from shock, which causes first a miscarriage and then her own death. Later Pamela gives birth and returns to England with her baby Flora, whom she discreetly refers to as her niece. In London, Pamela defies the harsh rules of Victorian society by writing feminist and reform-minded editorials for a women's weekly. She soon becomes a successful journalist and founds her own feminist magazine. However, her fear of scandal prevents her from marrying the devoted Thomas, and Flora grows up unaware of her true parentage. When Flora tells her "aunt" that she is in love with Gerald Waring's son, however, Pamela demands that she end the relationship and then meets secretly with Gerald to discuss the problem. As a result of their clandestine meeting, Gerald's wife names Pamela as a co-respondent in a divorce case. Still protective of Flora and Thomas' reputations, Pamela refuses to reveal her past in court, and thereby ruins her own reputation. ... +


In Victorian England, sisters Pamela and Flora Thistlewaite lead a cloistered life, watched over by their repressive father and prim governess. At their "coming out" ball, Flora meets and becomes engaged to Lieutenant Alan Craig Freeland, while independent Pamela catches the eye of roguish Gerald Waring. Spurned by her cold-hearted father, lonely Pamela is easily seduced by Gerald and becomes pregnant by him. After Pamela reveals her condition to Gerald, he tearfully informs her that he is married. Heartbroken, Pamela joins Flora, who is now married and also "expecting," in Italy, and there meets Thomas Lane, a British diplomat. When Flora learns that Alan has been killed in an accident, she collapses from shock, which causes first a miscarriage and then her own death. Later Pamela gives birth and returns to England with her baby Flora, whom she discreetly refers to as her niece. In London, Pamela defies the harsh rules of Victorian society by writing feminist and reform-minded editorials for a women's weekly. She soon becomes a successful journalist and founds her own feminist magazine. However, her fear of scandal prevents her from marrying the devoted Thomas, and Flora grows up unaware of her true parentage. When Flora tells her "aunt" that she is in love with Gerald Waring's son, however, Pamela demands that she end the relationship and then meets secretly with Gerald to discuss the problem. As a result of their clandestine meeting, Gerald's wife names Pamela as a co-respondent in a divorce case. Still protective of Flora and Thomas' reputations, Pamela refuses to reveal her past in court, and thereby ruins her own reputation. Finally, Thomas tells Flora the truth about her mother, and with her daughter's blessing, Pamela weds her beloved Thomas. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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