The House Across the Bay (1940)

85 mins | Drama | 1 March 1940

Director:

Archie Mayo

Writer:

Kathryn Scola

Producer:

Walter Wanger

Cinematographer:

Merritt Gerstad

Production Designer:

Alexander Golitzen

Production Company:

Walter Wanger Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although the film credits Frank Maher with sound, credit information from Walter Wangger Production lists Fred Lau. The Walter Wanger Productions credit sheet also notes that Joan Bennett had 26 costume changes in the film. A news item in HR notes that in Feb 1939, Warner Bros. also considered filming the Myles Connolly story on which this film is based as a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich and James ... More Less

Although the film credits Frank Maher with sound, credit information from Walter Wangger Production lists Fred Lau. The Walter Wanger Productions credit sheet also notes that Joan Bennett had 26 costume changes in the film. A news item in HR notes that in Feb 1939, Warner Bros. also considered filming the Myles Connolly story on which this film is based as a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich and James Cagney. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Feb 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Mar 40
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
29 Feb 40
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Dec 39
p. 54.
Motion Picture Herald
2 Mar 40
p. 31.
New York Times
22 Mar 40
p. 23.
Variety
28 Feb 40
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Joseph Sawyer
Pearlie Mae Norton
Don Kerr
Dorothy Vaughn
Harrison Green
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Film cutter
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Miss Bennett's wardrobe
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus score
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Still photog
Unit pub
SOURCES
SONGS
"Chula Chihuahua," words and music by Jule Styne, Nick Castle and Sidney Clare
"I'll Be a Fool Again," words and music by Al Siegel.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 March 1940
Production Date:
began mid October 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Walter Wanger Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 March 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9499
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5953
SYNOPSIS

Steve Larwitt, a New York nightclub operator, falls in love with torch singer Brenda Bentley and marries her. To impress his wife, Steve acquires another nightclub, a distillery, a munitions works and several race horses, using ruthless methods in his upward climb. Suddenly, his empire collapses as he faces charges of income tax evasion and is fired upon by rival racketeers. Brenda, realizing that her husband's life is in danger, believes that by spending a year in jail, he will pay his debt to society and be safe. When Slant Kolma, Steve's lawyer who is in love with Brenda, leads her to believe that the court will let Steve off with a lenient sentence, Brenda secretly furnishes the government with evidence that will put her husband behind bars. Slant double-crosses Steve, however, and as a result, he is sentenced to ten years at Alcatraz. To be near her husband, Brenda follows him to San Francisco and rents an apartment overlooking the bay. While on the boat returning from a visit to Steve, Brenda meets Mary Bogale, another "rock widow" who befriends her. One night, while waiting to call a taxi for Mary, Brenda meets airplane builder Tim Nolan, who is enchanted by her beauty. Tim persists in calling Brenda until she agrees to see him, and although she is attracted to Tim, she remains faithful to Steve. While lunching one afternoon, Brenda and Tim encounter Slant, who insists upon seeing Brenda. That night, after informing Brenda that she is broke, Slant announces his love for her and threatens to tell Steve that Brenda framed him and has been seeing ... +


Steve Larwitt, a New York nightclub operator, falls in love with torch singer Brenda Bentley and marries her. To impress his wife, Steve acquires another nightclub, a distillery, a munitions works and several race horses, using ruthless methods in his upward climb. Suddenly, his empire collapses as he faces charges of income tax evasion and is fired upon by rival racketeers. Brenda, realizing that her husband's life is in danger, believes that by spending a year in jail, he will pay his debt to society and be safe. When Slant Kolma, Steve's lawyer who is in love with Brenda, leads her to believe that the court will let Steve off with a lenient sentence, Brenda secretly furnishes the government with evidence that will put her husband behind bars. Slant double-crosses Steve, however, and as a result, he is sentenced to ten years at Alcatraz. To be near her husband, Brenda follows him to San Francisco and rents an apartment overlooking the bay. While on the boat returning from a visit to Steve, Brenda meets Mary Bogale, another "rock widow" who befriends her. One night, while waiting to call a taxi for Mary, Brenda meets airplane builder Tim Nolan, who is enchanted by her beauty. Tim persists in calling Brenda until she agrees to see him, and although she is attracted to Tim, she remains faithful to Steve. While lunching one afternoon, Brenda and Tim encounter Slant, who insists upon seeing Brenda. That night, after informing Brenda that she is broke, Slant announces his love for her and threatens to tell Steve that Brenda framed him and has been seeing Tim. To protect Tim, Brenda disappears to Alameda, and out of spite, Slant tells Tim about Brenda's marriage to Steve. Rather than foresake Brenda, Tim traces her to Alameda, where she tells him that she must remain loyal to Steve because she is all he has. A jealous Slant watches as Brenda and Tim talk, and the next day, he tells Steve that Brenda framed him and is having an affair with Tim. Insanely jealous, Steve breaks out of Alcatraz and is about to strangle Brenda when Tim enters and tells him that Slant is his betrayer. Realizing that Brenda has been faithful to him and that Tim can make her happy, Steve kills Slant and then swims to his death as the Alcatraz guards fire on him. +

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.