Merely Mary Ann (1931)

74-75 mins | Romance, Drama | 6 September 1931

Director:

Henry King

Writer:

Jules Furthman

Cinematographer:

John F. Seitz

Editor:

Frank Hall

Production Designers:

William Darling, Robert Haas

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Israel Zangwill's play was based on his novel of the same title (London and New York, 1893). Fox previously made films based on the same source in 1916, starring Vivian Martin, and in 1920, starring Shirley Mason (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.2908 and ... More Less

Israel Zangwill's play was based on his novel of the same title (London and New York, 1893). Fox previously made films based on the same source in 1916, starring Vivian Martin, and in 1920, starring Shirley Mason (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.2908 and F1.2909). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
13 Sep 31
p. 10.
HF
20 Jun 31
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 31
p. 3.
International Photographer
Oct 31
p. 31.
Motion Picture Herald
1 Aug 31
p. 30.
Motion Picture Herald
26 Sep 31
p. 27.
New York Times
12 Sep 31
p. 15.
Variety
15 Sep 31
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Henry King's Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
WRITERS
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Prod staff
Prod staff
Casting dir
Still photog
STAND INS
Stand-in for Janet Gaynor
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Merely Mary Ann by Israel Zangwill (Wallingford, England, 22 Oct 1903).
MUSIC
"Mary Ann," "Sonata-Adagio Movement" and other instrumental music by Richard Fall.
SONGS
"Kiss Me Goodnight, Not Goodbye," words by Jules Furthman, music by James F. Hanley.
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 September 1931
Production Date:
25 May--late June 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 July 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2412
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74-75
Length(in feet):
6,750
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Vicar Smedge brings Mary Ann, a naive orphan, to work as a drudge for London boardinghouse keeper Mrs. Leadbatter. One of the tenants, John Lonsdale, a frustrated composer who is disdainful of popular music and people he feels are beneath him, insults Mary Ann's "vulgar sentiment" when she pays the rent on his newly-delivered piano because he does not have enough to pay the draymen. When John criticizes Mary Ann's red hands, his friend, Peter Brooke, comforts her and tries to account for John's angry mood by telling her that five years earlier, John broke off from his father, a wealthy shipowner, and that he is struggling now to avoid admitting failure. After John apologizes to Mary Ann and explains that he criticized her hands because women in his family always wore gloves, he kisses her cheek and grudgingly agrees to keep her canary, whose night warbling has bothered Mrs. Leadbatter. Soon Mary Ann obtains gloves and enjoys John's goodnight kisses. After impresario Granville Gascony writes to John to say he likes his composition, John excitedly gets ready to leave. Mary Ann begs to go with him as his housekeeper, and he agrees, but when Mrs. Leadbatter learns that he has kissed Mary Ann, she locks her in her room. John pays Mrs. Leadbatter the back rent he owes and puts a note in the canary cage for Mary Ann to meet him at a tailor shop if she still wants to join him. Later, at a cottage by the sea, John and Mary Ann frolic on the beach. As she happily prepares his lunch, he plays a piece from his new ... +


Vicar Smedge brings Mary Ann, a naive orphan, to work as a drudge for London boardinghouse keeper Mrs. Leadbatter. One of the tenants, John Lonsdale, a frustrated composer who is disdainful of popular music and people he feels are beneath him, insults Mary Ann's "vulgar sentiment" when she pays the rent on his newly-delivered piano because he does not have enough to pay the draymen. When John criticizes Mary Ann's red hands, his friend, Peter Brooke, comforts her and tries to account for John's angry mood by telling her that five years earlier, John broke off from his father, a wealthy shipowner, and that he is struggling now to avoid admitting failure. After John apologizes to Mary Ann and explains that he criticized her hands because women in his family always wore gloves, he kisses her cheek and grudgingly agrees to keep her canary, whose night warbling has bothered Mrs. Leadbatter. Soon Mary Ann obtains gloves and enjoys John's goodnight kisses. After impresario Granville Gascony writes to John to say he likes his composition, John excitedly gets ready to leave. Mary Ann begs to go with him as his housekeeper, and he agrees, but when Mrs. Leadbatter learns that he has kissed Mary Ann, she locks her in her room. John pays Mrs. Leadbatter the back rent he owes and puts a note in the canary cage for Mary Ann to meet him at a tailor shop if she still wants to join him. Later, at a cottage by the sea, John and Mary Ann frolic on the beach. As she happily prepares his lunch, he plays a piece from his new operetta, which lacks a story. Just then, Mrs. Leadbatter and Vicar Smedge arrive with news that oil has been found on a farm left by Mary Ann's father and that she is now one of the wealthiest commoners in England. Although Mary Ann would prefer to remain with John, Mrs. Leadbatter and the vicar insist that arrangement is impossible unless they marry. When John refuses, saying that he would only be marrying her for the money, Mary Ann disconsolately leaves after giving John the canary. One year later, at the intermission of John's operetta "Mary Ann," John sees Mary Ann, who, despite her wealth, lives simply in the country near her birthplace. After she castigates him for having been too proud to marry a servant, he agrees that he was, but asks her to return. She refuses and he admits that he never realized the love that surrounded him until it was gone. Sometime later, as John is composing and remembering Mary Ann, she knocks on his door and puts on her gloves. John pinches himself, and after he is sure that he is not imagining her, they embrace. +

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

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