The World Moves On (1934)

104 mins | Romance | 31 August 1934

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HISTORY

Actor Franchot Tone was borrowed from M-G-M for this production, which was English actress Madeleine Carroll's first Hollywood film. Although HR production charts include Nigel Bruce, Drue Leyton, Halliwell Hobbes and José Mojica in the cast, their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a final shooting script, dated 21 Feb 1934, which is contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Harry Wood was set to appear in the film, but his participation in the finished picture has also not been confirmed. The collection contains a memo, written to screenwriter Reginald Berkeley by producer Winfield Sheehan, stating that "The will [of "Sebastian Girard"], which will be read out, should aim at securing and perpetuating the family fortune, based on the working of the Rothschild will." Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also located at UCLA, confirms that the Rothschild family was an inspiration for the family structure in the film. In Sheehan's memo, the producer recommended that Berkeley and director John Ford look at a book of World War I photographs taken by Laurence Stallings, who was also a screenwriter. Apparently the book presented a history of the war and "the cynical idea that the whole world is preparing for war again." The story files also contain clippings about the 1933 death of Henry Cushing Collins, who apparently was the first American to enlist in the French Foreign Legion during World War I. Although there is no explanation in the files about the clippings, it may be that Collins inspired the decision to have the character ... More Less

Actor Franchot Tone was borrowed from M-G-M for this production, which was English actress Madeleine Carroll's first Hollywood film. Although HR production charts include Nigel Bruce, Drue Leyton, Halliwell Hobbes and José Mojica in the cast, their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a final shooting script, dated 21 Feb 1934, which is contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Harry Wood was set to appear in the film, but his participation in the finished picture has also not been confirmed. The collection contains a memo, written to screenwriter Reginald Berkeley by producer Winfield Sheehan, stating that "The will [of "Sebastian Girard"], which will be read out, should aim at securing and perpetuating the family fortune, based on the working of the Rothschild will." Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also located at UCLA, confirms that the Rothschild family was an inspiration for the family structure in the film. In Sheehan's memo, the producer recommended that Berkeley and director John Ford look at a book of World War I photographs taken by Laurence Stallings, who was also a screenwriter. Apparently the book presented a history of the war and "the cynical idea that the whole world is preparing for war again." The story files also contain clippings about the 1933 death of Henry Cushing Collins, who apparently was the first American to enlist in the French Foreign Legion during World War I. Although there is no explanation in the files about the clippings, it may be that Collins inspired the decision to have the character Richard Girard join the Legion. Ads in MPH indicate that the picture opened at the Radio City Music hall in New York on 2 Aug 1934 at "popular prices." It had played previously at the Criterion Theatre in New York, where it opened on 28 Jun 1934, on a twice-a-day basis with higher ticket prices. Although the DV review erroneously lists the picture's running time as 150 minutes, the Var review and other sources list it as around 104 minutes. The World Moves On was the first film to receive a numbered certificate of approval from the Production Code Administration, which was formed in Jul 1934.
       According to information in the legal records, this film used approximately 651 feet of battle scenes and scenes of parading soldiers taken from the 1932 Pathé-Natan French film Les croix de bois . The French film, which was directed by Raymond Bernard and based on the book of the same name by Roland Dorgelès, had been purchased by Fox, but was not distributed by them in the United States. According to a 1937 legal document, this picture was "written expressly" for the purpose of using the footage. For more information about Les croix de bois , please see the entry above for The Road to Glory , which also used footage from the French film. The legal records for The Road to Glory indicate that in late 1933, contributing writers Llewellyn Hughes, Doris Anderson and Henry Wales wrote scenarios for The World Moves On based on Les croix de bois . Their scenario titles, which may have been the film's working titles, were, respectively: Wooden Crosses , Fifty Miles from Paris and Blood and Glory .
       The legal records also contain information about a lawsuit filed against Fox by Quirico Michelana y Llaguno, a Mexican citizen, who claimed that the studio had plagiarized a motion picture scenario he had written entitled Peace in War . The World Moves On was released in Mexico as Peace on Earth , and Llaguno maintained that it was plagiarized from his scenario, which he alleged he had submitted to Fox. Although Fox maintained that Llaguno did not register his scenario with the Screen Writers Guild in Hollywood until after shooting on the picture had commenced, the studio lost the case and their appeal, after which they settled the case with Llaguno for $7,800. Another case was filed against Fox by Edmund Benguiat, but the disposition of that case has not been determined. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Feb 34
p. 4.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 34
p. 3.
Daily Variety
29 Jun 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
30 Jun 34
p. 4.
Harrison's Reports
14 Jul 34
p. 110.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 34
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 34
p. 6.
International Photographer
1 Aug 34
p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 34
p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Jun 34
p. 29.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Jul 34
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Aug 34
p. 6.
New York Times
30 Jun 34
p. 18.
Variety
3 Jul 34
p. 26.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
WRITERS
Story and scr
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Blood and Glory
Fifty Miles from Paris
Wooden Crosses
Release Date:
31 August 1934
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 June 1934
Production Date:
20 February--17 April 1934
retakes late April 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 August 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4933
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
104
Length(in feet):
9,200
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1
SYNOPSIS

In 1825, New Orleans cotton magnate Sebastian Girard dies, and his will stipulates that his widow Agnes and their three sons, Richard, Carlos and John, must merge the family business with the company belonging to Englishman Gabriel Warburton. The new firm, which is intended to heal breaches caused by the War of 1812, will have offices in the United States, England, France and Prussia, the latter two of which will be run by Carlos and John. When the families gather to cement their relationship, Richard falls in love with Gabriel's wife Mary. Agreeing that the security of the family comes first, the would-be lovers deny their feelings and part. By 1914, four generations of the family have worked hard and the business is an enormous success. The families again assemble in New Orleans, where the attendees include English Sir John Warburton and his daughter Mary, the German Baron and Baroness von Gerhardt and their sons Erik and Fritz, and French Madame Girard and her children Henri, Jeanne and Jacques. Their American hosts are Charles Girard and his son Richard, who falls in love with Mary even though she is engaged to Erik. Mary reciprocates his feelings and is confused by his coldness later at the marriage of Fritz and Jeanne in Germany. Richard is distraught by the talk of Mary and Erik's upcoming wedding, and in his anguish he goes with Henri to Paris, where Henri joins the army and Richard joins the French Foreign Legion when the war starts. Soon after, Charles and John are on an ocean liner that is sunk by a German submarine captained by Fritz, which ... +


In 1825, New Orleans cotton magnate Sebastian Girard dies, and his will stipulates that his widow Agnes and their three sons, Richard, Carlos and John, must merge the family business with the company belonging to Englishman Gabriel Warburton. The new firm, which is intended to heal breaches caused by the War of 1812, will have offices in the United States, England, France and Prussia, the latter two of which will be run by Carlos and John. When the families gather to cement their relationship, Richard falls in love with Gabriel's wife Mary. Agreeing that the security of the family comes first, the would-be lovers deny their feelings and part. By 1914, four generations of the family have worked hard and the business is an enormous success. The families again assemble in New Orleans, where the attendees include English Sir John Warburton and his daughter Mary, the German Baron and Baroness von Gerhardt and their sons Erik and Fritz, and French Madame Girard and her children Henri, Jeanne and Jacques. Their American hosts are Charles Girard and his son Richard, who falls in love with Mary even though she is engaged to Erik. Mary reciprocates his feelings and is confused by his coldness later at the marriage of Fritz and Jeanne in Germany. Richard is distraught by the talk of Mary and Erik's upcoming wedding, and in his anguish he goes with Henri to Paris, where Henri joins the army and Richard joins the French Foreign Legion when the war starts. Soon after, Charles and John are on an ocean liner that is sunk by a German submarine captained by Fritz, which is in turn torpedoed by an Allied destroyer. Mary, who was released from her engagement to Erik when he realized that she loved Richard, is glad to see Richard when he comes to visit, but refuses his request to have the factories produce munitions. After a horrifying experience in the trenches, Richard returns to Mary and the couple are married. Richard goes back to the front, where he is wounded and taken prisoner. He is allowed to live with the von Gerhardts and witnesses the hardships inflicted by the war on the common German people. When the war finally ends, Richard goes home to Mary, and they settle in New York. By 1925, a lust for money and power has consumed Richard, and Mary is distraught over the changes in him. The horrors of war have made Henri seek peace in the priesthood, while his brother Jacques has grown up to be a cynic. Richard's world collapses with the stockmarket in 1929, and the family business is extinguished except for the English branch, which was saved by Mary's quick action. The family meets one last time, and when Jacques and Erik state that the world needs another war, the pregnant Mary rebukes them. As she condemns their militarism, she thinks of Hitler, Mussolini and various armies preparing for war. Mary and Richard then move to the old house in New Orleans, which has been tended by Richard's former war companion, Dixie. As the couple plan the nursery, they admire the crucifix in the family room and pray for peace. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.