Children of Loneliness (1937)

68 mins | Drama | 1937

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HISTORY

The above plot synopsis was taken from contemporary reviews and from a review in a Jan 1953 issue of Exh. The above cast list was found in the 1953 article, which indicates that the film was re-issued that year. According to the MPH review, the film includes a prologue and an epilogue in which Dr. S. Dana Hubbard of the New York Health Department discusses homosexuality in "clinical detail." The copyright submission includes the following statement from the filmmakers about the picture's intent: "Children of Loneliness is an educational and scientific presentation of an absorbing subject that deals with the manifestations, evil associations and mental complexes that affect and misdirect normal adults into channels resulting in homo-sexuality. It points out in vivid form and manner the fact that it is an acquired anomaly requiring only the influence of some exciting cause to become manifest, among such causes being those associated with fright, improper training, evil associations and mental complexes....In their effort to satisfy their desires these unfortunate people often stoop to the most loathsome practices. Children of Loneliness points out the part that Society plays in the development of normal children into normal humans, and eloquently brings out the potent fact that society cannot cure those who have been so misguided by simply ignoring and refusing to discuss them....The story of these inverts is a tragic one and reveals the known fact that these people are mentally sick and their only hope lies in treatment by competent physicians...."
       According to a Jan 1934 Var news item, Sol Lesser negotiated with J. T. Cosman, the film's ...

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The above plot synopsis was taken from contemporary reviews and from a review in a Jan 1953 issue of Exh. The above cast list was found in the 1953 article, which indicates that the film was re-issued that year. According to the MPH review, the film includes a prologue and an epilogue in which Dr. S. Dana Hubbard of the New York Health Department discusses homosexuality in "clinical detail." The copyright submission includes the following statement from the filmmakers about the picture's intent: "Children of Loneliness is an educational and scientific presentation of an absorbing subject that deals with the manifestations, evil associations and mental complexes that affect and misdirect normal adults into channels resulting in homo-sexuality. It points out in vivid form and manner the fact that it is an acquired anomaly requiring only the influence of some exciting cause to become manifest, among such causes being those associated with fright, improper training, evil associations and mental complexes....In their effort to satisfy their desires these unfortunate people often stoop to the most loathsome practices. Children of Loneliness points out the part that Society plays in the development of normal children into normal humans, and eloquently brings out the potent fact that society cannot cure those who have been so misguided by simply ignoring and refusing to discuss them....The story of these inverts is a tragic one and reveals the known fact that these people are mentally sick and their only hope lies in treatment by competent physicians...."
       According to a Jan 1934 Var news item, Sol Lesser negotiated with J. T. Cosman, the film's financier, for distribution rights to the picture after Morris Safier backed out of his distribution deal. It is not known if Lesser actually distributed the film in 1934, the year that it was copyrighted, or if censorship problems kept the picture from being released at that time. A Exh review from 1937 noted that the picture had "been around quite a bit." According to the MPH review, Samuel Cummins, who was the head of Jewel, leased the Criterion Theater in Los Angeles for screenings of the film in Nov 1937. At the preview screening, a man dressed like a physician addressed the audience and, aided by three young women dressed separately in scarlet, lavender and white, lectured on perversion and handed out pamphlets, according to MPH. All four people were arrested for distributing "salacious literature," which included copies of Dr. S. Dana Hubbard's work "In Plain English." The film was rejected by the New York State censors in 1937. Records from the NYSA refer to the manufacturer as "Kahn and Barley" and indicate that the picture was also known as Strange Lovers and The Third Sex. No sources confirm that the film received a general 1937 release; the 1937 Exh review speculated that it would "probably never be passed by censors." The 1953 review listed the film's running time as 59 minutes.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture Daily
15 Nov 1937
p. 9
Motion Picture Herald
20 Nov 1937
p. 35
The Exhibitor
1 Dec 1937
p. 49
The Exhibitor
28 Jan 1953
pp. 3457-58
Variety
12-Jan-34
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
George Merrick
Supv
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
Cliff Ruberg
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Well of Loneliness by Radcliffe Hall (London, 1928).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Strange Lovers
The Third Sex
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: Nov 1937
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Jewel Productions, Inc.
8 November 1934
MP5444
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68
Length(in feet):
6,500
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Elinor Gordon, who was frightened sexually by a man while an infant, confides in her psychoanalyst that she is contemplating yielding to the advances of her overly attentive and affectionate female roommate, Bobby Allen. The psychoanalyst advises the woman to dispossess her roommate, who works in the same law office as she, and to marry a football player. After the young woman rebuffs her roommate, she accompanies her lawyer employer, Dave Warren, to the country home of the firm's senior partner, John Grant. While Elinor falls in love with Dave, the senior partner's socialite daughter, Judy, yearns for Paul, an artist, who, unknown to her, is a homosexual. When Elinor again refuses the love of Bobby, Bobby tosses acid at her. The acid misses Elinor, but Dave blinds Bobby with the acid, and she stumbles into the path of an oncoming truck and is killed. After Elinor and Dave agree on marriage, Judy discovers that Paul has committed ...

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Elinor Gordon, who was frightened sexually by a man while an infant, confides in her psychoanalyst that she is contemplating yielding to the advances of her overly attentive and affectionate female roommate, Bobby Allen. The psychoanalyst advises the woman to dispossess her roommate, who works in the same law office as she, and to marry a football player. After the young woman rebuffs her roommate, she accompanies her lawyer employer, Dave Warren, to the country home of the firm's senior partner, John Grant. While Elinor falls in love with Dave, the senior partner's socialite daughter, Judy, yearns for Paul, an artist, who, unknown to her, is a homosexual. When Elinor again refuses the love of Bobby, Bobby tosses acid at her. The acid misses Elinor, but Dave blinds Bobby with the acid, and she stumbles into the path of an oncoming truck and is killed. After Elinor and Dave agree on marriage, Judy discovers that Paul has committed suicide.

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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.