One More River (1934)

85 or 90 mins | Romance | 6 August 1934

Director:

James Whale

Writer:

R. C. Sherriff

Producer:

Carl Laemmle Jr.

Editor:

Ted J. Kent

Production Designer:

Charles D. Hall

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The opening title of the film reads, "James Galsworthy's One More River ." According to correspondence and memos in the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen, director of the AMPP, rejected the original script, as, in the judgment of the AMPP, the emphasis of the story was on Corven's sadism. In an Apr 1934 letter to Universal, Breen states that "we can see no objection to your developing the character of Corven as that of a brutal man who has beaten his wife and thus compelled her to leave him, but we cannot allow any suggestion, directly or indirectly, referring to sadism." Breen listed a variety of scenes and lines in the script recommended for rewrites or deletions, including the following: "Clare's line, 'He's a sadist;'" "Clare's line, 'I see. I'm fruit--not blossom;'" "Corven's line, 'I won't stand for another man having you;'" "Clare's line, 'Then if I want him to divorce me I have got to commit adultery' will have to be rewritten. We suggest that you substitute...a statement like 'I have got to prove unfaithful;'" "Corven's speech...'I'm a sensualist if you like--a bit of an experimentalist--what does it matter? Sex naturally wanders from the paths laid down for it by morality. But everything works itself out. If Clare comes back to me--she won't even remember what happened in two years time;'" and "Clare's speech, 'I can only say there's a beast in him. I know it doesn't show but there is, Mother.'" Director James Whale sent a copy of the revised script to Breen accompanied by a letter in which he states, "You will notice ... More Less

The opening title of the film reads, "James Galsworthy's One More River ." According to correspondence and memos in the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen, director of the AMPP, rejected the original script, as, in the judgment of the AMPP, the emphasis of the story was on Corven's sadism. In an Apr 1934 letter to Universal, Breen states that "we can see no objection to your developing the character of Corven as that of a brutal man who has beaten his wife and thus compelled her to leave him, but we cannot allow any suggestion, directly or indirectly, referring to sadism." Breen listed a variety of scenes and lines in the script recommended for rewrites or deletions, including the following: "Clare's line, 'He's a sadist;'" "Clare's line, 'I see. I'm fruit--not blossom;'" "Corven's line, 'I won't stand for another man having you;'" "Clare's line, 'Then if I want him to divorce me I have got to commit adultery' will have to be rewritten. We suggest that you substitute...a statement like 'I have got to prove unfaithful;'" "Corven's speech...'I'm a sensualist if you like--a bit of an experimentalist--what does it matter? Sex naturally wanders from the paths laid down for it by morality. But everything works itself out. If Clare comes back to me--she won't even remember what happened in two years time;'" and "Clare's speech, 'I can only say there's a beast in him. I know it doesn't show but there is, Mother.'" Director James Whale sent a copy of the revised script to Breen accompanied by a letter in which he states, "You will notice that I have taken out, not only the subject of 'sadism' but all references to it, so that now any dialogue referring to the subject can quite easily be taken as meaning extreme cruelty and ill-temper. The end of the picture I have completely remodeled and trust it will meet your requirements." Breen responded in an 8 May 1934 letter that "the changes suggested seem to us to cover pretty well the dangerous elements in this story....However, particularly with regard to the element of sadism, we should like to say that our final judgment will depend pretty much on the manner in which the picture is shot. Sadism or any possible inference of it is a dangerous subject from a Code standpoint, and we urge you again to exercise great care to keep it absolutely free from any possibility of offense."
       The completed film was reviewed by the AMPP in Jul 1934, and in a letter from Breen to Universal, he suggested further modifications, including the following: "Delete line 'You see, my husband's attentions are without witnesses--they're that kind"; "A line from Dinny to the following effect: 'You once wrote me in a letter that Corven in a drunken rage, beat you, struck you in the face and kicked you. Is that true?'" "Change underlined word in Dinny's line 'He seems to be quite a beast ' to either 'cad,' 'rotter' or 'bounder;'" "Change line 'I see. I'm fruit. Not blossom.' to 'I'm not blossom any more;'" "Delete line 'Some women like roughhandling;'" "The episode in which Clare is portrayed as spending the night with her husband, make the following revisions: Delete actual scene of Clare and her husband meeting and going upstairs. Delete shot of Tony standing outside and looking up. Begin sequence with Dinny at dinner worrying, leaving, getting a taxi, going to Clare's apartment, ringing bell, then getting into taxi and leaving. Delete sequence of her going to Bristol hotel, with no reference to it, pick up Dinny returning to her home and continue with scene"; "[Delete] scene between Clare and her mother in which the following occurs: 'I can only say there's a beast in him' 'You are sure it's not just the beast that's in nearly all men?' In following sequence cut...the General's line 'I wish to goodness I could understand this business.' This deletes Clare's line 'Did he tell you that he used his riding whip on me?'"
       As noted by a memo, in late Jul 1934, the film was approved by the AMPP, "because in our judgment, the changes and deletions made in the film get away definitely both from the subject of sadism as well as the frankness of the dialogue." In Aug 1934, Breen wrote to Carl Laemmle, Jr. at Universal and, after informing him that the Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the film for their members, noted that "this is the first picture passed under the recently set-up machinery to be so condemned. I suppose it is the divorce angle which brings down condemnation of the Catholics; and I suppose that in the face of their very definite viewpoint on the subject of divorce, we are helpless under the circumstances."
       According to a contemporary article, Lawton left the play The Wind and the Rain to make this film, forcing the play to close. The copyright record synopsis ends with Tony leaving Clare's apartment bitterly and not returning. Actress Jane Wyatt (1910--2006) made her feature film debut in One More River . The actress, who previously had appeared on Broadway, contined to act on stage and in films and television until the 1990s. Among her notable roles were "Sondra" in the 1937 Frank Capra-directed film Lost Horizon (see above) and the family matriarch "Margaret Anderson," in the popular 1950s television series Father Knows Best . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 May 34
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Jul 34
p. 1.
Daily Variety
30 Jul 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Aug 34
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 34
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
3 Aug 34
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Jun 34
p. 45.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Aug 34
p. 31.
New York Times
10 Aug 34
p. 21.
Variety
14 Aug 34
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Tempe Piggott
Joseph North
Edward Cecil
Skipper Zelliff
Harry von Meter
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A James Whale Production; Carl Laemmle, Pres.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
2d cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr clerk
STAND INS
Stand-in for Jane Wyatt
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel One More River by John Galsworthy (New York, 1933).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
James Galsworthy's One More River
Release Date:
6 August 1934
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 2 August 1934
Production Date:
11 May--3 July 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
8 August 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4878
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85 or 90
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
122
SYNOPSIS

Lady Clare Corven returns to her family from Ceylon, where her husband Gerald brutalized her. On the return cruise to England, she meets James "Tony" Bernard Croom, who falls in love with her. In England, Clare's family receives her with warmth, and with the assistance of her sister Dinny, she works as a secretary for David Dornford, who has just won a seat in Parliament. Clare continues her platonic friendship with Tony, and refuses to return to Ceylon with her husband, who seeks her out in England. Unknown to Clare and Tony, Gerald has them followed by a detective. One night when the lights fail in the car, Clare and Tony park in the woods and innocently spend the night in the vehicle. This apparently damning evidence causes Gerald to sue Clare and co-respondent Tony for divorce and damages. At the court trial, the archaic system of divorce proceedings is evident, and Tony and Clare are found guilty based on circumstantial evidence. In spite of the outcome of the trial, Clare feels freed by divorce and, feeling that she is indebted to Tony, invites him to dinner. Tony is offended by her sense of gratitude and leaves. He returns the next morning, however, and after Clare professes her true love for him, they proceed uninhibited with their ... +


Lady Clare Corven returns to her family from Ceylon, where her husband Gerald brutalized her. On the return cruise to England, she meets James "Tony" Bernard Croom, who falls in love with her. In England, Clare's family receives her with warmth, and with the assistance of her sister Dinny, she works as a secretary for David Dornford, who has just won a seat in Parliament. Clare continues her platonic friendship with Tony, and refuses to return to Ceylon with her husband, who seeks her out in England. Unknown to Clare and Tony, Gerald has them followed by a detective. One night when the lights fail in the car, Clare and Tony park in the woods and innocently spend the night in the vehicle. This apparently damning evidence causes Gerald to sue Clare and co-respondent Tony for divorce and damages. At the court trial, the archaic system of divorce proceedings is evident, and Tony and Clare are found guilty based on circumstantial evidence. In spite of the outcome of the trial, Clare feels freed by divorce and, feeling that she is indebted to Tony, invites him to dinner. Tony is offended by her sense of gratitude and leaves. He returns the next morning, however, and after Clare professes her true love for him, they proceed uninhibited with their romance. +

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

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