Pilgrimage (1933)

90 or 93 mins | Drama | 18 August 1933

Director:

John Ford

Cinematographer:

George Schneiderman

Editor:

Louis Loeffler

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Fox bought the motion picture rights to the story in Nov 1931, when it was an unpublished, uncopyrighted story. The legal records also reveal that William Collier, Sr. was originally cast as "The Mayor," a role that Francis Ford took over; and that Esther Michelson was originally cast as "The Jewish Mother," which Rosa Rosanova played in the final film. Although Eugene Grossman is credited as sound recorder on the screen, W. W. Lindsay, Jr. is listed in studio records and in two reviews, and the film is listed in his filmography in FDYB , but not in Grossman's. According to a FD news item, Minna Gombell and Frank Craven were originally scheduled to be in the film. According to a HR news item, Henrietta Crosman was transferred during pre-production from this film to Mommies , a film that was never made. Crosman appeared in person at the New York premiere.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Hays Office officials complained about two uses of the word "hell" and an action in the ship's stateroom in which Crosman pushes a button and the flushing of a toilet is heard. A Fox official subsequently wrote the Hays Office to report that the word "hell" and the toilet flush were eliminated from the soundtrack. Hays Office officials also were worried about a possible negative French reaction to a scene in which a girl explains that an old bewhiskered man who is pitching manure in front of his doorway is ... More Less

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Fox bought the motion picture rights to the story in Nov 1931, when it was an unpublished, uncopyrighted story. The legal records also reveal that William Collier, Sr. was originally cast as "The Mayor," a role that Francis Ford took over; and that Esther Michelson was originally cast as "The Jewish Mother," which Rosa Rosanova played in the final film. Although Eugene Grossman is credited as sound recorder on the screen, W. W. Lindsay, Jr. is listed in studio records and in two reviews, and the film is listed in his filmography in FDYB , but not in Grossman's. According to a FD news item, Minna Gombell and Frank Craven were originally scheduled to be in the film. According to a HR news item, Henrietta Crosman was transferred during pre-production from this film to Mommies , a film that was never made. Crosman appeared in person at the New York premiere.
       According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Hays Office officials complained about two uses of the word "hell" and an action in the ship's stateroom in which Crosman pushes a button and the flushing of a toilet is heard. A Fox official subsequently wrote the Hays Office to report that the word "hell" and the toilet flush were eliminated from the soundtrack. Hays Office officials also were worried about a possible negative French reaction to a scene in which a girl explains that an old bewhiskered man who is pitching manure in front of his doorway is the mayor of the town. Because of this concern, Fox president Sidney Kent, on 18 May 1933, issued an order that the reference made to the French mayor working on a dung pile be eliminated from the negative. The Hays Office files for the film also include a letter dated 23 Jan 1933 from Katherine M. Gallagher, Vice-President, American Gold Star Mothers, of Wayne, PA to Fox, which stated that she was the sole instigator of the movement to get a bill passed to enable the Mothers to go to France, which resulted in the pilgrimage that was the subject of Fox's film. Gallagher asked that the studio consult her organization because, "The pilgrimage was very sacred to us and we may not wish it to be commercialized." No information has been located concerning any subsequent input that the group may have had. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
16 Mar 33
p. 2.
Film Daily
17 Jul 33
p. 7.
HF
18 Feb 33
p. 12.
HF
1 Apr 33
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 33
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 33
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Apr 33
p. 20.
Motion Picture Daily
13 Jul 33
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Jul 33
p. 53.
New York Times
13 Jul 33
p. 17.
Variety
18 Jul 33
p. 36.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
WRITERS
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Pilgrimage" by I. A. R. Wylie in American Magazine (Nov 1932).
SONGS
"Dear Little Boy of Mine," words by J. Keirn Brennan, music by Ernest R. Ball.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 August 1933
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 12 July 1933
Production Date:
mid February--early April 1933 (halted mid March during studio shutdown, resumed 20 March 1933)
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 April 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4056
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90 or 93
Length(in feet):
9,000
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

During World War I, in the small farming community of Three Cedars, Arkansas, Jim Jessop wants to wed Mary Saunders, but his proud and protective mother Hannah considers Mary to be "trash." To break up the romance, Hannah signs a waiver allowing Jim to enlist to fight in France. Sometime after Jim has left for Europe, Hannah delivers Mary's baby during a snow storm, but she vows that the baby will never bear the Jessop name. Jim dies in France, and when Hannah gets the news, she sadly puts together pieces of Jim's torn portrait. Ten years later, Hannah ignores Mary's child Jimmy. Prodded by Elmer Briggs, the mayor, to represent the area in a pilgrimage to see her son's grave in France, Hannah joins other "Gold Star" mothers from various ethnic groups and parts of the United States, and travels to France. The women are given a fashion show, treated to a beauty salon and shown the Paris sights. After a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe , Hannah declares that she will not go to the cemetery the next day because she doesn't belong with the others who had "good" sons. That night, as she despondently walks over a bridge, Hannah sees a drunken, wealthy American boy about to jump. She takes the boy, Gary Worth, to his hotel and stays with him until he sobers up. After reprimanding Gary, Hannah learns that his mother plans to separate him from Suzanne, the girl he loves, whom his mother considers beneath them. Hannah overhears Suzanne confess that she is pregnant and then goes to meet Mrs. Worth. She effects a ... +


During World War I, in the small farming community of Three Cedars, Arkansas, Jim Jessop wants to wed Mary Saunders, but his proud and protective mother Hannah considers Mary to be "trash." To break up the romance, Hannah signs a waiver allowing Jim to enlist to fight in France. Sometime after Jim has left for Europe, Hannah delivers Mary's baby during a snow storm, but she vows that the baby will never bear the Jessop name. Jim dies in France, and when Hannah gets the news, she sadly puts together pieces of Jim's torn portrait. Ten years later, Hannah ignores Mary's child Jimmy. Prodded by Elmer Briggs, the mayor, to represent the area in a pilgrimage to see her son's grave in France, Hannah joins other "Gold Star" mothers from various ethnic groups and parts of the United States, and travels to France. The women are given a fashion show, treated to a beauty salon and shown the Paris sights. After a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe , Hannah declares that she will not go to the cemetery the next day because she doesn't belong with the others who had "good" sons. That night, as she despondently walks over a bridge, Hannah sees a drunken, wealthy American boy about to jump. She takes the boy, Gary Worth, to his hotel and stays with him until he sobers up. After reprimanding Gary, Hannah learns that his mother plans to separate him from Suzanne, the girl he loves, whom his mother considers beneath them. Hannah overhears Suzanne confess that she is pregnant and then goes to meet Mrs. Worth. She effects a reconciliation and then goes to the Argonne and cries on Jim's grave. At home, Hannah receives Mary's forgiveness and reconciles with Jimmy. +

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

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