Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931)

74-75 mins | Melodrama | 10 October 1931

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Editor:

Margaret Booth

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Suzanne Lenox and Susan Lenox. Some modern sources erroneously refer to the film as Susan Lenox, Her Rise and Fall. According to contemporary news items and production charts, King Vidor was initially set to direct the picture, and actresses Lynn Bernager and Marjorie King were to have roles in the film. Vidor was replaced by Robert Z. Leonard, and the appearance of either Beranger or King in the completed film has not been confirmed. A HR news item noted that "extended retakes and revisions" of the film were made in mid-Aug 1931 after the film had been previewed for the press. Another HR news item noted that following his role in the film, actor Jean Hersholt, a Dane by birth, was appointed by the King of Denmark to head the American committee in charge of Denmark's participation in the 1932 Olympic Games. In a filmography in the biographical file for Edgar G. Ulmer at the AMPAS Library, he is listed as the director of German and French versions of this film; however, no contemporary information about any foreign-language versions of the film has been located. A modern source includes a brief epilogue in its description of the film in which the characters of "Rodney" and "Helga" are living happily in a mountain cabin near the construction site of Boulder Dam (which was later renamed Hoover Dam). This sequence was not in the viewed print nor was it in the cutting continuity. ...

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The working titles of this film were Suzanne Lenox and Susan Lenox. Some modern sources erroneously refer to the film as Susan Lenox, Her Rise and Fall. According to contemporary news items and production charts, King Vidor was initially set to direct the picture, and actresses Lynn Bernager and Marjorie King were to have roles in the film. Vidor was replaced by Robert Z. Leonard, and the appearance of either Beranger or King in the completed film has not been confirmed. A HR news item noted that "extended retakes and revisions" of the film were made in mid-Aug 1931 after the film had been previewed for the press. Another HR news item noted that following his role in the film, actor Jean Hersholt, a Dane by birth, was appointed by the King of Denmark to head the American committee in charge of Denmark's participation in the 1932 Olympic Games. In a filmography in the biographical file for Edgar G. Ulmer at the AMPAS Library, he is listed as the director of German and French versions of this film; however, no contemporary information about any foreign-language versions of the film has been located. A modern source includes a brief epilogue in its description of the film in which the characters of "Rodney" and "Helga" are living happily in a mountain cabin near the construction site of Boulder Dam (which was later renamed Hoover Dam). This sequence was not in the viewed print nor was it in the cutting continuity.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
19 Jul 1931
p. 5
Film Daily
25 Jul 1931
p. 5
Film Daily
18 Oct 1931
p. 10
HF
7 Feb 1931
p. 32
HF
30 May 1931
p. 24
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1931
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1931
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1931
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 1931
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 1931
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 1931
p. 1
Motion Picture Herald
18 Jul 1931
p. 41
Motion Picture Herald
24 Oct 1931
p. 27
New York Times
17 Oct 1931
p. 20
Variety
20 Oct 1931
p. 21
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Adpt and cont
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise by David Graham Phillips (New York, 1917).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Suzanne Lenox
Release Date:
10 October 1931
Production Date:
late May--early Jul 1931
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
27 October 1931
LP2587
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74-75
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Helga, born out of wedlock, has been an object of scorn to her uncle, Karl Ohlin. Certain that only an early marriage will keep her from the same fate as her mother, Karl arranges for Helga to wed loutish farmer Jeb Mondstrom. The night before their proposed wedding, however, Mondstrom tries to rape Helga and she runs away. In a heavy rainstorm Helga makes her way to a nearby house and is befriended by Rodney Spencer, a young architect. Rodney's kindness changes Helga's view of men, and the two fall in love. Rodney proposes just before an important business trip, but Helga must again run away when Ohlin and Mondstrom find her. She jumps on a circus train in Lenoxville and is befriended by Madame Panoramia, the tattooed lady, who introduces her to Burlingham, the circus owner, as Susan Lenox. Helga writes Rodney to meet her in Marquette, but before he arrives, she is forced to become Burlingham's mistress when he hides her from Ohlin and Mondstrom. When Rodney realizes what her relationship to Burlingham is, he rejects her as a tramp. Heartbroken, Helga goes from one man to another until she becomes the mistress of wealthy New York politician Mike Kelly. In the meantime, Rodney has ruined his career by drinking. Helga, now known as Mrs. Lenox, secretly arranges for Rodney to attend one of her dinner parties and tries to humiliate him, but when he leaves, she realizes that she still loves him. She follows him, but he is gone. Despite Mike's plea for her to come back, she travels from city to city looking for ...

More Less

Helga, born out of wedlock, has been an object of scorn to her uncle, Karl Ohlin. Certain that only an early marriage will keep her from the same fate as her mother, Karl arranges for Helga to wed loutish farmer Jeb Mondstrom. The night before their proposed wedding, however, Mondstrom tries to rape Helga and she runs away. In a heavy rainstorm Helga makes her way to a nearby house and is befriended by Rodney Spencer, a young architect. Rodney's kindness changes Helga's view of men, and the two fall in love. Rodney proposes just before an important business trip, but Helga must again run away when Ohlin and Mondstrom find her. She jumps on a circus train in Lenoxville and is befriended by Madame Panoramia, the tattooed lady, who introduces her to Burlingham, the circus owner, as Susan Lenox. Helga writes Rodney to meet her in Marquette, but before he arrives, she is forced to become Burlingham's mistress when he hides her from Ohlin and Mondstrom. When Rodney realizes what her relationship to Burlingham is, he rejects her as a tramp. Heartbroken, Helga goes from one man to another until she becomes the mistress of wealthy New York politician Mike Kelly. In the meantime, Rodney has ruined his career by drinking. Helga, now known as Mrs. Lenox, secretly arranges for Rodney to attend one of her dinner parties and tries to humiliate him, but when he leaves, she realizes that she still loves him. She follows him, but he is gone. Despite Mike's plea for her to come back, she travels from city to city looking for Rodney, eventually winding up as a singer in a waterfront dive in Latin America. She has learned that Rodney is working on a construction crew in the jungle and plans to wait for his return, despite that fact that kindly millionaire Robert Lane wants to marry her. When Rodney does wander into the dive and sees Helga, he only wants her like any other waterfront girl. She throws him out in disillusionment and plans to meet Robert on his yacht, but the next day she goes to see Rodney one last time. Sober for once, Rodney realizes that he has been wrong, and they both decide to stop hurting each other and start to love again.

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

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