Cynara (1932)

80 mins | Melodrama | 24 December 1932

Director:

King Vidor

Producer:

Samuel Goldwyn

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Hugh Bennett

Production Designer:

Richard Day

Production Company:

Howard Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Way of a Lancer and I Have Been Faithful . E. M. Harwood and Robert Gore-Browne's play was based on Gore-Browne's novel An Imperfect Lover (London, 1928). The second title card to the film reads: "Inspired by Ernest Dowson's immortal lines--I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion." The Dowson poem from which the lines were taken, Non sum qualis eram was written in 1896. The Charles Chaplin picture which "Jim" and "Doris" go to see during the film is A Dog's Life (1918). According to news items, Dorothy Hale was to have made her motion picture debut in the film in the role of "Clemency Warlock." Hale was listed on early HR production charts, however, according to a 30 Aug 1932 HR news item, she withdrew from the cast and was replaced by Kay Francis. Francis, who was under contract to Warner Bros., was loaned to Samuel Goldwyn for the role. According to reviews, this was Phyllis Barry's first American film. A news item in HR on 11 Nov 1932, subsequent to this film's completion and prior to its premiere, notes that Colman had initiated a law suit against Goldwyn for $2,000,000 for defamation of character. For additional information on the dispute, consult the entry below for The Masquerader . Modern sources list one additional cast member, C. Montague Shaw ( Constable ). Modern sources also note that the picture was re-issued in 1945 under the title I Was Faithful . Other adaptations of the story ... More Less

The film's working titles were Way of a Lancer and I Have Been Faithful . E. M. Harwood and Robert Gore-Browne's play was based on Gore-Browne's novel An Imperfect Lover (London, 1928). The second title card to the film reads: "Inspired by Ernest Dowson's immortal lines--I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion." The Dowson poem from which the lines were taken, Non sum qualis eram was written in 1896. The Charles Chaplin picture which "Jim" and "Doris" go to see during the film is A Dog's Life (1918). According to news items, Dorothy Hale was to have made her motion picture debut in the film in the role of "Clemency Warlock." Hale was listed on early HR production charts, however, according to a 30 Aug 1932 HR news item, she withdrew from the cast and was replaced by Kay Francis. Francis, who was under contract to Warner Bros., was loaned to Samuel Goldwyn for the role. According to reviews, this was Phyllis Barry's first American film. A news item in HR on 11 Nov 1932, subsequent to this film's completion and prior to its premiere, notes that Colman had initiated a law suit against Goldwyn for $2,000,000 for defamation of character. For additional information on the dispute, consult the entry below for The Masquerader . Modern sources list one additional cast member, C. Montague Shaw ( Constable ). Modern sources also note that the picture was re-issued in 1945 under the title I Was Faithful . Other adaptations of the story include a 6 Jul 1953 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast starring Joseph Cotton, and a 1955 ABC Television drama. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
28 Jul 32
p. 7.
Film Daily
30 Aug 32
p. 10.
Film Daily
20 Sep 32
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Nov 32
p. 6.
HF
18 Jun 32
p. 8.
HF
13 Aug 32
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Nov 31
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 32
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 32
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 32
p. 4.
New York Times
26 Dec 32
p. 26.
Variety
3 Jan 33
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Cynara by H. M. Harwood and Robert Gore-Browne (London, 26 Jun 1930).
SONGS
"Blue Skies," words and music by Irving Berlin.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
I Have Been Faithful
Way of a Lancer
Release Date:
24 December 1932
Production Date:
mid August--late September 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Samuel Goldwyn, Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 December 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3503
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In Naples, as he is packing to sail away, Jim Warlock relates to his wife Clemency how he came to be involved in an affair that ruined their marriage and his carreer as a promising London barrister: Several months before, as Jim happily anticipates celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary, he sees his life as secure and pleasant, while his friend, John Tring, views it as smug and boring. Annoyed that Clemency is leaving immediately for Venice to help her younger sister Gorla avoid a scandal, Jim agrees to dine with Tring. At an Italian restaurant, Tring orchestrates an evening with two shop girls they meet named Doris Lea and Milly Miles. Jim enjoys himself, reluctantly, but throws Doris' address away when they part. A short time later, Jim has to judge a swimming contest and finds that Tring has arranged to have Doris there. She accepts the winner's trophy from Jim, then twists her ankle and is taken home in his car. Torn by his love for Clemency and his attraction to Doris, he succombs to the affair when she reveals that he would not be her first lover and that she will give him up "when the time comes." On their last weekend together before Clemency's return, Doris tells Jim that she would rather die than live without him. When Jim arrives home, he finds Clemency there. Their meeting is strained, and when Jim sees Doris again he trys to break with her. Because she has just lost her job, Jim agrees to meet her again, but just before their tryst he sends her a check and ... +


In Naples, as he is packing to sail away, Jim Warlock relates to his wife Clemency how he came to be involved in an affair that ruined their marriage and his carreer as a promising London barrister: Several months before, as Jim happily anticipates celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary, he sees his life as secure and pleasant, while his friend, John Tring, views it as smug and boring. Annoyed that Clemency is leaving immediately for Venice to help her younger sister Gorla avoid a scandal, Jim agrees to dine with Tring. At an Italian restaurant, Tring orchestrates an evening with two shop girls they meet named Doris Lea and Milly Miles. Jim enjoys himself, reluctantly, but throws Doris' address away when they part. A short time later, Jim has to judge a swimming contest and finds that Tring has arranged to have Doris there. She accepts the winner's trophy from Jim, then twists her ankle and is taken home in his car. Torn by his love for Clemency and his attraction to Doris, he succombs to the affair when she reveals that he would not be her first lover and that she will give him up "when the time comes." On their last weekend together before Clemency's return, Doris tells Jim that she would rather die than live without him. When Jim arrives home, he finds Clemency there. Their meeting is strained, and when Jim sees Doris again he trys to break with her. Because she has just lost her job, Jim agrees to meet her again, but just before their tryst he sends her a check and a sentimental note instead. He asks his secretary to deliver it, but Doris passes him on her way to meet Jim. When Jim arrives home, Milly is waiting, angry over his treatment of Doris. While they are arguing, a policeman arrives to announce that Doris has committed suicide and that Jim's note was found in her apartment. At the inquest, Jim refuses to reveal that he was not the girl's first lover and is blamed for her death, although he is not legally responsible. After he finishes his story, Clemency realizes that Jim had loved them both, but remains firm in her decision to let him leave on the next boat sailing from Naples. When Tring comes to talk to her, Clemency realizes that she still loves Jim and rushes to meet him on the boat. +

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

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