Cabin in the Cotton (1932)

76-78 mins | Drama | 15 October 1932

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Cinematographer:

Barney McGill

Editor:

George Amy

Production Designer:

Esdras Hartley

Production Company:

First National Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Actor Erville Alderson's surname is spelled "Anderson" in the onscreen credits. According to DV , this film was one of three permitted to be shown in the USSR because the government approved of its social content. Paul Green was a professor at the University of North Carolina. According to Bette Davis' autobiography, Michael Curtiz did not want her in the film, and used explicit language in describing her as "...nothing, no-good, sexless...." A line that Davis uttered in this film, "I'd love to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair" became one of her signature ... More Less

Actor Erville Alderson's surname is spelled "Anderson" in the onscreen credits. According to DV , this film was one of three permitted to be shown in the USSR because the government approved of its social content. Paul Green was a professor at the University of North Carolina. According to Bette Davis' autobiography, Michael Curtiz did not want her in the film, and used explicit language in describing her as "...nothing, no-good, sexless...." A line that Davis uttered in this film, "I'd love to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair" became one of her signature lines. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Mar 34
p. 15.
Film Daily
1 Oct 32
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 32
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
10 Sep 32
p. 38.
New York Times
30 Sep 32
p. 17.
Variety
4 Oct 32
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Assoc dir
Asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch cond
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Cabin in the Cotton by Harry Harrison Kroll (New York, 1931).
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 October 1932
Copyright Claimant:
First National Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 October 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3343
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76-78
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After Southern tenant farmer Tom Blake dies, Lane Norwood, the owner of the cotton plantation, puts Tom's son Marvin through school, later hiring him to work in his store. The other sharecroppers suspect that Marvin is now on the side of the owners, but Marvin is torn between his loyalty to his family and his gratitude to Norwood. He is also attracted to both Betty Wright, the daughter of a sharecropper, and Madge, Norwood's daughter. Marvin learns that the farmers are stealing cotton from Norwood, but as he understands how hard their life is, he says nothing to his boss, who has taken Marvin into his own house to live. When a tenant shoots a planter, Marvin and Norwood join the hunt for the killer. Marvin is sickened by the lynching that follows. Burdened by their debts, the tenants burn down Norwood's store. Marvin reveals that he has kept a duplicate set of books which will prevent Norwood from being ruined, but the tenants beg Marvin to destroy them so they can start again without debts. Marvin refuses to give the books to the sharecroppers until one of them explains that Norwood's high interest rates were responsible for the overwork that killed Marvin's father. Caught in the middle, Marvin calls a meeting between the planters and the farmers and proposes a cooperative scheme for farming that will be fairer to the tenants without asking the planters to assume all the financial risk. When some of the planters refuse, Marvin threatens to expose the truth about the lynching. Finally everyone signs the trial contract, and Marvin looks forward to better ... +


After Southern tenant farmer Tom Blake dies, Lane Norwood, the owner of the cotton plantation, puts Tom's son Marvin through school, later hiring him to work in his store. The other sharecroppers suspect that Marvin is now on the side of the owners, but Marvin is torn between his loyalty to his family and his gratitude to Norwood. He is also attracted to both Betty Wright, the daughter of a sharecropper, and Madge, Norwood's daughter. Marvin learns that the farmers are stealing cotton from Norwood, but as he understands how hard their life is, he says nothing to his boss, who has taken Marvin into his own house to live. When a tenant shoots a planter, Marvin and Norwood join the hunt for the killer. Marvin is sickened by the lynching that follows. Burdened by their debts, the tenants burn down Norwood's store. Marvin reveals that he has kept a duplicate set of books which will prevent Norwood from being ruined, but the tenants beg Marvin to destroy them so they can start again without debts. Marvin refuses to give the books to the sharecroppers until one of them explains that Norwood's high interest rates were responsible for the overwork that killed Marvin's father. Caught in the middle, Marvin calls a meeting between the planters and the farmers and proposes a cooperative scheme for farming that will be fairer to the tenants without asking the planters to assume all the financial risk. When some of the planters refuse, Marvin threatens to expose the truth about the lynching. Finally everyone signs the trial contract, and Marvin looks forward to better times. +

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

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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.