Rockabye (1932)

70-71 or 75 mins | Drama | 25 November 1932

Director:

George Cukor

Writer:

Jane Murfin

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

George Hively

Production Designer:

Carroll Clark

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Lucia Bonder's play was based on her short story "Our Judy," which was published in Smart Set Magazine (date undetermined). According to a FD news item, RKO purchased the rights to the play from Gloria Swanson. Despite poor reviews, Rockabye performed well at the box office, actually grossing slightly more than What Price Hollywood? in its first weeks of distribution, according to RKO records. According to HR news items, George Fitzmaurice, whom RKO borrowed from M-G-M, was the original director of the film, but resigned on 16 Sep 1932 because of a disagreement with the producers. After George Cukor was brought in to direct, Jobyna Howland replaced Laura Hope Crews in the role of "Snooks Carroll," and Joel McCrea replaced Phillips Holmes, whom RKO had borrowed from Paramount, in the role of "Jake." Modern sources add the following information about the production: RKO rushed the script into production with Fitzmaurice at the helm in order to meet the exhibitors' deadline for a new "Bennett" film. The studio broke speed records for shooting and editing, but when the film was shown to executives, it was declared unreleasable. To save the production, RKO brought in Cukor. After two or three weeks of reshooting and editing with the new actors, the film was ready for release. Modern sources add the following cast members: Lita Chevret (Party guest) and Edwin Stanley (Defense attorney). Although one modern source claims that "Lilybet" was "Judy's" illegitimate child, it was not obvious from viewing the film that "Judy" was supposed to be the girl's natural mother. ...

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Lucia Bonder's play was based on her short story "Our Judy," which was published in Smart Set Magazine (date undetermined). According to a FD news item, RKO purchased the rights to the play from Gloria Swanson. Despite poor reviews, Rockabye performed well at the box office, actually grossing slightly more than What Price Hollywood? in its first weeks of distribution, according to RKO records. According to HR news items, George Fitzmaurice, whom RKO borrowed from M-G-M, was the original director of the film, but resigned on 16 Sep 1932 because of a disagreement with the producers. After George Cukor was brought in to direct, Jobyna Howland replaced Laura Hope Crews in the role of "Snooks Carroll," and Joel McCrea replaced Phillips Holmes, whom RKO had borrowed from Paramount, in the role of "Jake." Modern sources add the following information about the production: RKO rushed the script into production with Fitzmaurice at the helm in order to meet the exhibitors' deadline for a new "Bennett" film. The studio broke speed records for shooting and editing, but when the film was shown to executives, it was declared unreleasable. To save the production, RKO brought in Cukor. After two or three weeks of reshooting and editing with the new actors, the film was ready for release. Modern sources add the following cast members: Lita Chevret (Party guest) and Edwin Stanley (Defense attorney). Although one modern source claims that "Lilybet" was "Judy's" illegitimate child, it was not obvious from viewing the film that "Judy" was supposed to be the girl's natural mother.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
20 Jul 1932
p. 28
Film Daily
3 Dec 1932
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1932
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1932
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1932
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 1932
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 1932
p. 2
International Photographer
1 Jan 1933
p. 32
Motion Picture Herald
26 Nov 1932
pp. 24-25, 30
New York Times
5 Dec 1932
p. 21
Variety
6 Dec 1932
p. 15
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fred Spencer
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the unpublished play Rockabye by Lucia Bonder (copyrighted 17 Nov 1924).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Till the Real Thing Comes Along," music and lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Harry Akst; "Sleep, My Sweet," music and lyrics by Jeanne Borlini and Nacio Herb Brown.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 November 1932
Production Date:
began late Jul 1932; retakes began 23 Sep 1932
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
25 November 1932
LP3491
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71 or 75
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After Broadway actress Judy Carroll testifies in court on behalf of accused embezzler Commissioner Al Howard, her former lover, she loses custody of orphan Elizabeth, called "Lilybet", whom she had longed to adopt. Devastated by the loss, Judy takes the advice of her longtime manager and would-be lover, Antonie "Tony" de Sola, and travels to Europe with her alcoholic mother. While in Europe, she reads a play called Rockabye , whose plot echoes much of her recent life and, against Tony's wishes, pushes to do a production of it on Broadway. Playwright Jacob "Jake" Van Riker Pell, however, has doubts about Judy's ability to play the part of a tough "Second Avenue" girl, stating that she is too sophisticated, but has a change of heart when Judy reveals that she was brought up on Second Avenue and learned to be a "lady" from Tony. After a fun-filled, romantic evening on the town with Jake, whom Judy learns is soon to be divorced, Judy convinces Tony to produce Rockabye . Soon after, while they are picnicking together, Jake suggests to Judy that they marry as soon as his divorce is final and is accepted by Judy without reservations. At a party for the successful premiere of Rockabye , however, which Jake fails to attend, Jake's mother visits Judy and, reporting that Jake's wife has just had a baby, admonishes Judy to relinquish Jake from his promise of marriage. Stunned by the news, Judy announces her intention to marry Tony and sarcastically dismisses Jake when he finally arrives at the party. Although Jake vows that he will leave his wife for her, Judy adamantly insists ...

More Less

After Broadway actress Judy Carroll testifies in court on behalf of accused embezzler Commissioner Al Howard, her former lover, she loses custody of orphan Elizabeth, called "Lilybet", whom she had longed to adopt. Devastated by the loss, Judy takes the advice of her longtime manager and would-be lover, Antonie "Tony" de Sola, and travels to Europe with her alcoholic mother. While in Europe, she reads a play called Rockabye , whose plot echoes much of her recent life and, against Tony's wishes, pushes to do a production of it on Broadway. Playwright Jacob "Jake" Van Riker Pell, however, has doubts about Judy's ability to play the part of a tough "Second Avenue" girl, stating that she is too sophisticated, but has a change of heart when Judy reveals that she was brought up on Second Avenue and learned to be a "lady" from Tony. After a fun-filled, romantic evening on the town with Jake, whom Judy learns is soon to be divorced, Judy convinces Tony to produce Rockabye . Soon after, while they are picnicking together, Jake suggests to Judy that they marry as soon as his divorce is final and is accepted by Judy without reservations. At a party for the successful premiere of Rockabye , however, which Jake fails to attend, Jake's mother visits Judy and, reporting that Jake's wife has just had a baby, admonishes Judy to relinquish Jake from his promise of marriage. Stunned by the news, Judy announces her intention to marry Tony and sarcastically dismisses Jake when he finally arrives at the party. Although Jake vows that he will leave his wife for her, Judy adamantly insists that he return to his family. Her love sacrificed, Judy then finds solace in the faithful, understanding arms of Tony.

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

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