Ramona (1936)

84 mins | Drama | 25 September 1936

Director:

Henry King

Writer:

Lamar Trotti

Production Designer:

Duncan Cramer

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

A 18 Sep 1934 Var news item announcing Fox's purchase of the rights to Ramona from Edwin Carewe, who had produced an earlier version of Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, noted that a Spanish version was also likely to be filmed, however, none was made. A 30 Jan 1935 HR news item noted that Philip Klein and Robert Yost had been signed to work on the adaptation, but their contribution to the completed picture has not been confirmed. Pre-production work on this film began before Twentieth Century and Fox merged in the summer of 1935, while actual shooting was done after the merger. A 18 Mar 1935 HR news item states that John Ford was scheduled to direct the film, while the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library add that Eugene Forde was originally signed as the director before Henry King. HR news items also noted that Lew Pollack and Paul Francis Webster had been assigned to write the music for the picture. Among the actors considered for the part of "Alessandro" were Pietro Gentili, Phillip Reed, Gilbert Roland (who was also considered for the part of "Felipe") and John Boles (who was released from the role when he ended his contract with the studio). A 24 Aug 1935 HR news item reported that Charles Sellon, who was cast as "Juan Can," was forced to drop out of the film due to illness, and the legal records confirm that O. P. Heggie, who was contracted to play "Father Salvierderra," went instead into Twentieth Century-Fox's 1936 production, The ... More Less

A 18 Sep 1934 Var news item announcing Fox's purchase of the rights to Ramona from Edwin Carewe, who had produced an earlier version of Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, noted that a Spanish version was also likely to be filmed, however, none was made. A 30 Jan 1935 HR news item noted that Philip Klein and Robert Yost had been signed to work on the adaptation, but their contribution to the completed picture has not been confirmed. Pre-production work on this film began before Twentieth Century and Fox merged in the summer of 1935, while actual shooting was done after the merger. A 18 Mar 1935 HR news item states that John Ford was scheduled to direct the film, while the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library add that Eugene Forde was originally signed as the director before Henry King. HR news items also noted that Lew Pollack and Paul Francis Webster had been assigned to write the music for the picture. Among the actors considered for the part of "Alessandro" were Pietro Gentili, Phillip Reed, Gilbert Roland (who was also considered for the part of "Felipe") and John Boles (who was released from the role when he ended his contract with the studio). A 24 Aug 1935 HR news item reported that Charles Sellon, who was cast as "Juan Can," was forced to drop out of the film due to illness, and the legal records confirm that O. P. Heggie, who was contracted to play "Father Salvierderra," went instead into Twentieth Century-Fox's 1936 production, The Prisoner of Shark Island (see below). According to HR news items, Frances Dee was considered for the part of "Ramona," which was first assigned to Rita Hayworth (then known as Rita Cansino,) and then to Loretta Young after Darryl F. Zanuck, Twentieth Century-Fox's vice-president in charge of production, announced that "the story is in the special class and deserves more elaborate treatment than formerly called for." Production was delayed from late Jul, and Twentieth Century-Fox considered removing Kent Taylor, who had been borrowed from Paramount for the role of "Felipe," to replace him with "a more important name," however, Taylor did play the part. The film was again postponed in late Aug 1935 by Young's illness. When she was still not ready to begin by mid-Oct 1935, she was replaced by Rochelle Hudson. In late Oct, Zanuck announced that the picture was to be shot in Technicolor, which, because the film would be "80 percent exteriors," required another postponement to avoid the rainy season. By the time shooting began on 11 May 1936, Young had been reinstated in the part of "Ramona."
       The film was shot on location at Warner Hot Springs and the Mesa Grande Indian Reservation, both in San Diego County, CA. According to a modern source, the Indian extras from the reservation were descendents of the Indians about whom Jackson wrote her novel. A 17 Jun 1936 LAT news item reported that Young saved two-year-old Raymond Lugo, with whom she was performing a scene, from a fire that started on the set in Mesa Grande. Althuogh HR production charts list Paul Stanton and Fritz Leiber as cast members, their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a HR news item, the picture's release was delayed because Technicolor could not supply enough prints in time to meet the deadline. Although a 9 Sep 1936 HR news item noted that Ramona was to have its world premiere simultaneously in Pittsburgh and Bar Harbor, ME, the date of the premiere has not been confirmed. This was the first Twentieth Century-Fox film shot in Technicolor. The NYT reviewer praised the color, commenting: "Chromatically, the picture is superior to anything we have seen in the color line," and the Var reviewer noted: "...the fact that the color angle becomes less noticeable as the picture unwinds, and never interferes with the telling or reception of the story, is evidence that color has finally found its place in film production." According to a 15 Sep 1935 NYT article, the film was estimated to cost in excess of $750,000 to produce, but in a modern source, King stated that it was produced for a little under $600,000. Jackson's novel was previously filmed three times, all of which were titled Ramona . The first version, a 1910 Biograph film, was directed by D. W. Griffith and starred Mary Pickford and Henry B. Walthall (see Film Beginnings, 1893-1910 ; A.12778). Donald Crisp directed Adda Gleason and Monroe Salisbury in the 1916 Clune Film Producing Co. version (see above) and Edwin Carewe directed Dolores Del Rio and Warner Baxter in the 1928 Inspiration Pictures production (see above). From 1922 to the early 1940s, a "Ramona Pageant" was held every spring in a natural outdoor amphitheatre near Hemmet, CA. The pageant, which was resumed after World War II, recreated incidents from Jackson's book. In the 1936 pageant, John Carradine played "Jim Farrar," which was also his role in the film. According to modern sources, the producers of the picture viewed the pageant in the early 1930s for ideas. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Jun 1936.
---
Box Office
19 Sep 1936.
---
Daily Variety
12 Sep 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 May 36
p. 8.
Film Daily
30 Jun 36
p. 15.
Film Daily
16 Sep 36
p. 25.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 35
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 35
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 35
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 35
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 35
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 36
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 36
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 36
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 36
pp. 5-10.
Los Angeles Times
7 Apr 1936.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1936.
---
Motion Picture Daily
14 Sep 36
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Apr 36
p. 45.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Jul 36
pp. 16-17.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Sep 36
p. 45.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Nov 36
p. 45.
New York Times
16 Dec 1934.
---
New York Times
15 Sep 1935.
---
New York Times
7 Oct 36
p. 32.
Variety
18 Sep 1934.
---
Variety
14 Oct 36
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Claire Du Brey
Martin Faust
Jose Bottolo
James Lono
Richard Botiller
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in Charge of Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Assoc cine
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Location mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor photog
Technicolor color dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson (Boston, 1884).
SONGS
"Señorita," "Sunrise Hymn," "La Fiesta," "How the Rabbit Lost His Tail" and "Under the Redwood Tree," words and music by William Kernell
"Ramona," words by L. Wolfe Gilbert, music by Mabel Wayne.
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 September 1936
Production Date:
11 May--29 June 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 September 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6957
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
84
Length(in feet):
7,536
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2413
SYNOPSIS

In 1870 California, at the hacienda of Señora Moreno, everyone prepares for a fiesta and the arrival of Father Salvierderra, who will celebrate Mass for the ranch inhabitants and the Indians who are making their yearly appearance to shear the sheep. The Señora welcomes her handsome son Felipe and sends him to find Ramona, the Señora's lovely ward, who has gone to meet Salvierderra. After they all arrive back at the hacienda, Felipe also welcomes Alessandro, the Indian leader. That night, at the fiesta, Felipe tells Ramona how beautiful she is, and while Ramona feels a sisterly affection for him, it is obvious that she does not share his passion. Alessandro sees her dancing and finds out who she is, while elsewhere, the Señora complains to Salvierderra about Felipe's interest in Ramona. The next morning, as everyone goes to Mass, Ramona, charmed by Alessandro's singing, questions Felipe about him. That afternoon, Felipe falls from his horse and is seriously injured during a race with Alessandro. Weeks later, after Felipe's recovery, Alessandro is about to leave when Ramona declares her love for him, and he asks her to marry him. The Señora, alerted by the jealous servant Margarita, who loves Alessandro herself, sends Alessandro away, and tells Ramona that she will have to go to a convent. The Señora then informs Ramona that her mother was an Indian, and her father a former suitor of the Señora's sister, who adopted Ramona as a baby and then appointed the Señora her guardian when she herself died. Ramona is pleased by the scandalous news, and feels that, as an Indian, she belongs with ... +


In 1870 California, at the hacienda of Señora Moreno, everyone prepares for a fiesta and the arrival of Father Salvierderra, who will celebrate Mass for the ranch inhabitants and the Indians who are making their yearly appearance to shear the sheep. The Señora welcomes her handsome son Felipe and sends him to find Ramona, the Señora's lovely ward, who has gone to meet Salvierderra. After they all arrive back at the hacienda, Felipe also welcomes Alessandro, the Indian leader. That night, at the fiesta, Felipe tells Ramona how beautiful she is, and while Ramona feels a sisterly affection for him, it is obvious that she does not share his passion. Alessandro sees her dancing and finds out who she is, while elsewhere, the Señora complains to Salvierderra about Felipe's interest in Ramona. The next morning, as everyone goes to Mass, Ramona, charmed by Alessandro's singing, questions Felipe about him. That afternoon, Felipe falls from his horse and is seriously injured during a race with Alessandro. Weeks later, after Felipe's recovery, Alessandro is about to leave when Ramona declares her love for him, and he asks her to marry him. The Señora, alerted by the jealous servant Margarita, who loves Alessandro herself, sends Alessandro away, and tells Ramona that she will have to go to a convent. The Señora then informs Ramona that her mother was an Indian, and her father a former suitor of the Señora's sister, who adopted Ramona as a baby and then appointed the Señora her guardian when she herself died. Ramona is pleased by the scandalous news, and feels that, as an Indian, she belongs with Alessandro. Later that night, Felipe helps her sneak out of her room and meet Alesssandro. The lovers are married and, years later, have a baby girl and a prosperous farm until white settlers are given title to the Indian lands by the government. A bitter Alessandro packs up his family and they are forced by a rainstorm to stop at the cabin of kindly Aunt Ri, whose distrust of Indians is put aside upon finding out that they are Christians. They are still there two days later, unable to leave due to the baby's fever. Alessandro rides to town for Dr. Weaver, who cannot leave because many others are also ill. On the way back, his horse becomes lame, so Alessandro goes to Jim Farrar's house, where he takes a horse after not finding Farrar, who returns in time to see Alessandro leaving. When Alessandro reaches home, he comforts Ramona with a lie that the doctor will come soon. Farrar arrives, and Ramona mistakes him for the doctor as he goes to find Alessandro, whom he shoots on sight. After Alessandro's funeral, Aunt Ri tells Ramona to be grateful for the baby, and as they walk to the cabin, Ramona sees Felipe, who has come to help her. Ramona holds her baby and smiles through her tears, glad that she has some part of Alessandro still with her. +

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

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