The Silver Cord (1933)

74-76 mins | Melodrama | 19 May 1933

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HISTORY

Laura Hope Crews played the part of Mrs. Phelps on stage, and John Cromwell directed the original Broadway production. According to reviews, the film script toned down the more overtly sexual aspects of the play. Background shots for the production were taken in Wrightwood, CA, according to IP . Joel McCrea and Frances Dee, who was borrowed from Paramount, appeared together for the first time in The Silver Cord and married shortly after the production; they remained married until McCrea's death in 1990. George Meeker was identified in a production still from the picture, but does not appear in the released ... More Less

Laura Hope Crews played the part of Mrs. Phelps on stage, and John Cromwell directed the original Broadway production. According to reviews, the film script toned down the more overtly sexual aspects of the play. Background shots for the production were taken in Wrightwood, CA, according to IP . Joel McCrea and Frances Dee, who was borrowed from Paramount, appeared together for the first time in The Silver Cord and married shortly after the production; they remained married until McCrea's death in 1990. George Meeker was identified in a production still from the picture, but does not appear in the released film. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
27 Feb 33
p. 11.
Film Daily
5 May 33
p. 7.
International Photographer
1 Feb 33
p. 33.
International Photographer
1 Mar 33
p. 20.
International Photographer
1 Apr 33
p. 21.
Motion Picture Daily
27 Apr 33
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
13 May 33
p. 22.
Motion Picture Herald
20 May 33
p. 39.
New York Times
5 May 33
p. 18.
Variety
9 May 33
p. 14.
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
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
Asst cam
Background photog
Background photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Chief propman
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Rec asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Chief elec
Chief grip
Still photog
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Silver Cord by Sidney Howard, as produced by The Theatre Guild, Inc. (New York, 20 Dec 1926).
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 May 1933
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 4 May 1933
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 May 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3919
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74-76
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When budding architect Dave Phelps receives word about a post in New York, he and his new wife Christina, a research biologist who has been offered a job at the Rockefeller Institute, leave Heidelberg and return to the United States. Before going to New York, the newlyweds visit Dave's mother, his brother Robert and Robert's fiancée Hester in the country. Although she has never met Christina, Mrs. Phelps all but ignores her daughter-in-law and showers gushing affection on Dave, calling him her "big boy." Later, after insisting that Dave take the room next to hers, alone, Mrs. Phelps has a private discussion with Christina in which she accuses her of selfishly taking Dave away to further her own questionable career. A jealous Mrs. Phelps then convinces Robert that he and Hester are not truly in love and talks him into breaking off their engagement. After she hears Hester's hysterical warnings about Mrs. Phelps, Christina, who has announced that she is pregnant, begins to worry about the depth of her husband's commitment to their marriage. Dave, torn between his desire for Christina and his simple love for his manipulative mother, refuses Christina's pleas to leave immediately for New York, but insists that he still loves her. However, after Hester, crazed with humiliation, runs from the house and falls into a frozen pond, nearly drowning, Christina gives Dave an ultimatum either to stay with his mother or leave with her that morning. Before departing, Christina confronts Mrs. Phelps, accusing her of using her sons as a romantic substitute for her dead husband. Mrs. Phelps, stubbornly defends her "right" to love her sons and orders ... +


When budding architect Dave Phelps receives word about a post in New York, he and his new wife Christina, a research biologist who has been offered a job at the Rockefeller Institute, leave Heidelberg and return to the United States. Before going to New York, the newlyweds visit Dave's mother, his brother Robert and Robert's fiancée Hester in the country. Although she has never met Christina, Mrs. Phelps all but ignores her daughter-in-law and showers gushing affection on Dave, calling him her "big boy." Later, after insisting that Dave take the room next to hers, alone, Mrs. Phelps has a private discussion with Christina in which she accuses her of selfishly taking Dave away to further her own questionable career. A jealous Mrs. Phelps then convinces Robert that he and Hester are not truly in love and talks him into breaking off their engagement. After she hears Hester's hysterical warnings about Mrs. Phelps, Christina, who has announced that she is pregnant, begins to worry about the depth of her husband's commitment to their marriage. Dave, torn between his desire for Christina and his simple love for his manipulative mother, refuses Christina's pleas to leave immediately for New York, but insists that he still loves her. However, after Hester, crazed with humiliation, runs from the house and falls into a frozen pond, nearly drowning, Christina gives Dave an ultimatum either to stay with his mother or leave with her that morning. Before departing, Christina confronts Mrs. Phelps, accusing her of using her sons as a romantic substitute for her dead husband. Mrs. Phelps, stubbornly defends her "right" to love her sons and orders Dave to stay with her. Although he first gives in to his mother's demands, Dave finally asserts himself and runs to Christina's side. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Domestic


Subject

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.