Bondage (1933)

61 or 65 mins | Melodrama | 31 March 1933

Director:

Alfred Santell

Cinematographer:

Lucien Andriot

Editor:

Jack Murray

Production Designer:

Duncan Cramer

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The House of Refuge . Correspondence in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that because of suggestions from James Wingate, Director of the Studio Relations Committee of the AMPP, the script was changed to establish the home for unwed expectant mothers as a private institution, rather than a state or county institution, and that as much comedy as possible was injected to lighten up the story. Nevertheless, when Twentieth Century-Fox applied for a certificate for the film to be re-issued in 1937, the Hays Office deemed the film "unacceptable." Reviewers noted that the film was influenced by the German film Mädchen in Uniform , produced in 1931 and released in the U.S. in 1932, and by the 1932 Warner Bros. film, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (see below). Like that film, Bondage ends with a victim of society speaking a hauntingly short statement which expresses her lack of hope for the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The House of Refuge . Correspondence in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that because of suggestions from James Wingate, Director of the Studio Relations Committee of the AMPP, the script was changed to establish the home for unwed expectant mothers as a private institution, rather than a state or county institution, and that as much comedy as possible was injected to lighten up the story. Nevertheless, when Twentieth Century-Fox applied for a certificate for the film to be re-issued in 1937, the Hays Office deemed the film "unacceptable." Reviewers noted that the film was influenced by the German film Mädchen in Uniform , produced in 1931 and released in the U.S. in 1932, and by the 1932 Warner Bros. film, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (see below). Like that film, Bondage ends with a victim of society speaking a hauntingly short statement which expresses her lack of hope for the future. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
6 Feb 33
p. 8.
Film Daily
6 Mar 33
p. 4.
Film Daily
2 Mar 33
p. 5.
Film Daily
22 Apr 33
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Apr 33
pp. 28-29.
New York Times
24 Apr 33
p. 11.
Variety
25 Apr 33
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The House of Refuge by Grace Sothcote Leake (New York, 1932).
SONGS
"The Command to Love" and "Penthouse Lament," words and music by Val Burton and Will Jason.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The House of Refuge
Release Date:
31 March 1933
Production Date:
early February--early March 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 March 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3758
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
61 or 65
Length(in feet):
6,050
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Judy Peters is about to be sentenced after she has pled guilty to her third offense of prostitution, when Dr. Nelson interrupts and tells her story to the court. Over a year earlier, Dr. Nelson meets Judy at the boardinghouse for working girls where she lives, when he comes on ambulance duty to take away an unwed girl who is about to have a baby. Judy works in a music store and avoids the attempted flirtations of her married boss. When crooner Earl Crawford, for whom most girls swoon, comes to the store and tries to talk to her, Judy runs off, but her friend Maizie accepts a luncheon date with Earl for Judy and herself. Judy does not respond to Earl's flirtations, but after Earl persists in calling, Maizie makes another date with him for Judy. At his apartment, Judy is surprised that Earl does not make a pass at her, but instead speaks of his own loneliness and his pleasure at making his lonely listeners happy. Judy is affected by Earl, and when he drives her home and kisses her goodnight, she embraces him tenderly and allows him to pull her back into his car. Three months later, Judy is pregnant. When Maizie, against Judy's wishes, tells Earl, he leaves town. Judy says she does not care and that she wants the child, whom she vows to work for, fight for and love. Judy goes to live at the Elizabeth Wharton Home for unwed expectant mothers. Once Mrs. Wharton leaves, the matron, Miss Trigge, reveals her lack of concern for the girls living there and her ... +


Judy Peters is about to be sentenced after she has pled guilty to her third offense of prostitution, when Dr. Nelson interrupts and tells her story to the court. Over a year earlier, Dr. Nelson meets Judy at the boardinghouse for working girls where she lives, when he comes on ambulance duty to take away an unwed girl who is about to have a baby. Judy works in a music store and avoids the attempted flirtations of her married boss. When crooner Earl Crawford, for whom most girls swoon, comes to the store and tries to talk to her, Judy runs off, but her friend Maizie accepts a luncheon date with Earl for Judy and herself. Judy does not respond to Earl's flirtations, but after Earl persists in calling, Maizie makes another date with him for Judy. At his apartment, Judy is surprised that Earl does not make a pass at her, but instead speaks of his own loneliness and his pleasure at making his lonely listeners happy. Judy is affected by Earl, and when he drives her home and kisses her goodnight, she embraces him tenderly and allows him to pull her back into his car. Three months later, Judy is pregnant. When Maizie, against Judy's wishes, tells Earl, he leaves town. Judy says she does not care and that she wants the child, whom she vows to work for, fight for and love. Judy goes to live at the Elizabeth Wharton Home for unwed expectant mothers. Once Mrs. Wharton leaves, the matron, Miss Trigge, reveals her lack of concern for the girls living there and her obsession with control and power. Judy is warned by the other girls that her baby can be taken away if her boyfriend doesn't show up and marry her. Judy meets Dr. Nelson again, and, seeing his compassion for one of the girls whose baby died during birth, asks him to be her doctor. Judy has a girl, whom she names Jackie, and says she hopes Jackie will be a doctor like Dr. Nelson. When the father of another girl visits, Judy and her friend Irma lock Miss Trigge in the cellar so that the father will not find out that his daughter, who told him she was a nurse, is there because she is pregnant. Miss Trigge is furious when she gets out. When Earl is tracked down, brought to the home and told he must marry Judy, she angrily refuses him and says she would prefer the baby to have no name at all than Earl's. Admiring her courage, Mrs. Wharton tries to help Judy get work, but Mrs. Wharton's presence stigmatizes her, and it is not until Judy tries alone, that she is able to land a job at a beauty salon. Judy then returns to the home and learns that Miss Trigge gave her baby away. She threatens to kill her if she doesn't get her baby back and fights her, but Miss Trigge subdues Judy, and she is placed in a psychiatric ward in the state hospital. Meanwhile, the woman who took Jackie brings her back because she cries all the time. At Judy's hearing, the judge, having no evidence of Judy's psychosis, releases her. She returns for her baby, but learns that Jackie has died. When Miss Trigge offers to pray with her, Judy explodes and castigates her for the way she has treated the girls. They all chase Miss Trigge into her office, where she calls the police. Mrs. Wharton and Dr. Nelson then arrive and discharge Miss Trigge, but learn that Judy has left. In the courtroom, Dr. Nelson makes a plea to the judge that society, rather than Judy, should be on trial for its indifference and intolerance. The judge suspends Judy's sentence, and she thanks Dr. Nelson. As she leaves, he asks her where she is going, and when she replies, "Who cares?" he follows her. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.