The Stranger's Return (1933)

88-89 mins | Comedy-drama | 21 July 1933

Director:

King Vidor

Cinematographer:

William Daniels

Editor:

Dick Fantl

Production Designer:

Fredric Hope

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The MPH review incorrectly lists this film as a Paramount release. M-G-M borrowed Miriam Hopkins from Paramount for the production. In a modern interview, director King Vidor recalled the following information about the production: After producer Lucien Hubbard brought Philip Stong's novel to his attention, Vidor asked that Stong, whose book State Fair had been made by Fox into a successful picture earlier in 1933, work on the screenplay. Because Stong had difficulty writing additional scenes for the film, Vidor speculated that his "very bright wife" may actually have written most of the novel. According to Vidor, Stong changed his story in his rewrites "more than some studio writers would." The film was shot in Chino, CA, a rural community near Los Angeles. Remembering that he worked with a female art director named Doris, Vidor claims that he was "inspired by several paintings by Grant Wood" and ordered that "some of the buildings out there in Chino" be built according to the architectural style found in Wood's paintings. Vidor noted that a love scene "that took place in a pile of hay on the ground" and another scene in which Louise's feeling "for the farm and the country" is stated were missing from a modern print of the ... More Less

The MPH review incorrectly lists this film as a Paramount release. M-G-M borrowed Miriam Hopkins from Paramount for the production. In a modern interview, director King Vidor recalled the following information about the production: After producer Lucien Hubbard brought Philip Stong's novel to his attention, Vidor asked that Stong, whose book State Fair had been made by Fox into a successful picture earlier in 1933, work on the screenplay. Because Stong had difficulty writing additional scenes for the film, Vidor speculated that his "very bright wife" may actually have written most of the novel. According to Vidor, Stong changed his story in his rewrites "more than some studio writers would." The film was shot in Chino, CA, a rural community near Los Angeles. Remembering that he worked with a female art director named Doris, Vidor claims that he was "inspired by several paintings by Grant Wood" and ordered that "some of the buildings out there in Chino" be built according to the architectural style found in Wood's paintings. Vidor noted that a love scene "that took place in a pile of hay on the ground" and another scene in which Louise's feeling "for the farm and the country" is stated were missing from a modern print of the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
29 Jul 33
p. 4.
HF
29 Apr 33
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 33
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
28 Jul 33
p. 2
Motion Picture Herald
15 Jul 33
p. 70.
New York Times
28 Jul 33
p. 18.
Variety
1 Aug 33
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A King Vidor Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Rec dir
Mixer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Stranger's Return by Phil Stong (New York, 1933).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 July 1933
Production Date:
began late April 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 July 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4029
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88-89
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When recently separated Louise Storr arrives in the Midwestern town of Pittsville from New York City, she is greeted at the train depot by Grandpa Storr, her eighty-five-year-old grandfather, and Simon Bates, his hard-drinking but devoted farmhand. Although a New York native who has never seen the Storr family farm, Louise quickly warms to life at "Storrhaven" and to her irascible but wise grandfather, a third generation farmer. Grandpa's stepdaughter, Thelma Redfield, and his nephew's widow Beatrice are suspicious of Louise, however, and express their disapproval when she shows interest in Guy Crane, their married neighbor. Louise and Guy's mutual attraction becomes obvious to his sweet but simple wife Nettie when she invites Louise to Sunday dinner and can only listen as her neighbor discusses theater and other cultural topics with her Cornell-educated husband. Aware of Beatrice and Thelma's watchful eyes, Guy later warns Louise at a town dance that her in-laws may see her, the Storr farm heiress, as a threat to their financial future. After Beatrice admonishes Louise about dancing too many times with a married man, Louise accepts a ride home from Guy, who kisses her impetuously in an empty field. Although the couple vows to forget about the incident, Louise tells Guy after a long day of cooking for a group of hungry threshers, that she should return to New York to protect his reputation in the rural community. Dismissing Louise's concern for his social standing, Guy confesses his love but admits that he has no will to leave Nettie. When Beatrice then catches Guy and Louise kissing, Louise determines to go but is counselled by Grandpa to ... +


When recently separated Louise Storr arrives in the Midwestern town of Pittsville from New York City, she is greeted at the train depot by Grandpa Storr, her eighty-five-year-old grandfather, and Simon Bates, his hard-drinking but devoted farmhand. Although a New York native who has never seen the Storr family farm, Louise quickly warms to life at "Storrhaven" and to her irascible but wise grandfather, a third generation farmer. Grandpa's stepdaughter, Thelma Redfield, and his nephew's widow Beatrice are suspicious of Louise, however, and express their disapproval when she shows interest in Guy Crane, their married neighbor. Louise and Guy's mutual attraction becomes obvious to his sweet but simple wife Nettie when she invites Louise to Sunday dinner and can only listen as her neighbor discusses theater and other cultural topics with her Cornell-educated husband. Aware of Beatrice and Thelma's watchful eyes, Guy later warns Louise at a town dance that her in-laws may see her, the Storr farm heiress, as a threat to their financial future. After Beatrice admonishes Louise about dancing too many times with a married man, Louise accepts a ride home from Guy, who kisses her impetuously in an empty field. Although the couple vows to forget about the incident, Louise tells Guy after a long day of cooking for a group of hungry threshers, that she should return to New York to protect his reputation in the rural community. Dismissing Louise's concern for his social standing, Guy confesses his love but admits that he has no will to leave Nettie. When Beatrice then catches Guy and Louise kissing, Louise determines to go but is counselled by Grandpa to stay and fight for the farm. During his talk with Louise, Grandpa suddenly begins to describe approaching Rebel soldiers and other Civil War images, and Louise and the rest of the family become convinced that he has lost his mind. While Beatrice insists that the Insanity Commission be alerted and Grandpa be committed, a distressed Louise seeks help from Guy and Simon. Grandpa's delusions continue, however, and after he angrily accuses Beatrice of being a Rebel spy, the Insanity Commission is called. As soon as the three physicians arrive, Grandpa reveals that his "insanity" was a hoax concocted to expose his in-laws as fortune hunters. With the Insanity Commission as witnesses, Grandpa then dictates a new will to Thelma's timid husband Allen, a lawyer, and leaves the farm exclusively to Louise. Although Grandpa ultimately forgives Thelma and Allen, Beatrice is ordered to return to Des Moines. His job done, Grandpa confides in Louise that his heart is failing and dies quietly in the night. Guy then tells Louise, who has chosen to stay on the farm, that he is going to accept a teaching job at Cornell, a decision that Louise bravely endorses as the best solution to their affair. +

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

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