In This Our Life (1942)

95 or 97-98 mins | Melodrama | 16 May 1942

Director:

John Huston

Writer:

Howard W. Koch

Cinematographer:

Ernest Haller

Editor:

William Holmes

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Ellen Glasgow's novel won the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. According to a LAEx news item dated 27 Feb 1941, the studio paid $40,000 for rights to the novel. A 27 Feb 1941 HR news item adds that the film was to star Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn. Warner Bros. was named to the Honor Roll of Race Relations of 1942 for making this film because of its dignified portrayal of an African-American, although, according to a 8 Sep 1942 HR news item, Warner Bros. cut scenes which treated Ernest Anderson's character in a "friendly fashion" in order to avoid offending viewers in the South. In 1943, when the film was examined by the Office of Censorship in Washington, D.C. prior to general export, it was disapproved because "only by the effort of a conscientious white man in whose law office a Negro boy is studying law is the young man saved from a charge of murder...recklessly made by a white woman....[who] claimed that the Negro and not she, was driving the car at the time of the accident and so strong is the race feeling in this Virginia community that the young Negro was practically condemned in advance. It is made abundantly clear that a Negro's testimony in court is almost certain to be disregarded if in conflict with the testimony of a white person." Actor Walter Huston, director John Huston's father, appears briefly in the film in a cameo role as a bartender. Modern sources erroneously note that Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Ward Bond, Barton MacLane and Elisha Cook, Jr. appear ... More Less

Ellen Glasgow's novel won the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. According to a LAEx news item dated 27 Feb 1941, the studio paid $40,000 for rights to the novel. A 27 Feb 1941 HR news item adds that the film was to star Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn. Warner Bros. was named to the Honor Roll of Race Relations of 1942 for making this film because of its dignified portrayal of an African-American, although, according to a 8 Sep 1942 HR news item, Warner Bros. cut scenes which treated Ernest Anderson's character in a "friendly fashion" in order to avoid offending viewers in the South. In 1943, when the film was examined by the Office of Censorship in Washington, D.C. prior to general export, it was disapproved because "only by the effort of a conscientious white man in whose law office a Negro boy is studying law is the young man saved from a charge of murder...recklessly made by a white woman....[who] claimed that the Negro and not she, was driving the car at the time of the accident and so strong is the race feeling in this Virginia community that the young Negro was practically condemned in advance. It is made abundantly clear that a Negro's testimony in court is almost certain to be disregarded if in conflict with the testimony of a white person." Actor Walter Huston, director John Huston's father, appears briefly in the film in a cameo role as a bartender. Modern sources erroneously note that Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Ward Bond, Barton MacLane and Elisha Cook, Jr. appear as uncredited bits in the bar scene in the tavern. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Apr 1942.
---
Daily Variety
7 Apr 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Apr 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Apr 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 43
p. 6.
Los Angeles Examiner
27 Feb 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Apr 42
p. 597.
New York Times
9 May 42
p. 10.
Variety
8 Apr 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Orch arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow (New York, 1941).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 May 1942
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 8 May 1942
Production Date:
late October--mid December 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 May 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11295
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95 or 97-98
Length(in feet):
8,703
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7856
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Asa Timberlake has lost his money to William Fitzroy, his former partner in the tobacco business. His wife Lavinia, William's sister, and he have two daughters: Roy, who is married to Dr. Peter Kingsmill, and Stanley, engaged to be married to lawyer Craig Fleming. The selfish Stanley is the favorite of her uncle William, who showers her with expensive presents. The night before her wedding, Stanley runs off with Roy's husband. Roy wastes no time mourning, but continues with her decorating business and divorces Peter, leaving him free to marry Stanley. Sometime later, Roy encounters Craig in the park, and they begin to seeing each other. Craig hires Parry Clay, the son of the Timberlake maid, Minerva, to work in his law office to help Parry put himself through law school. William offers to make Craig his attorney if he will drop certain poorer clients, and when Craig refuses, Roy agrees to marry him as soon as possible. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Stanley's marriage deteriorates: she spends too much money and Peter drinks too much. Finally, in desperation, Peter commits suicide, and Roy travels to Baltimore to bring her sister home. As soon as Stanley recovers, she resolves to win back Craig's affections. She visits Craig's office under the pretext of wanting information about Peter's insurance policy. Learning that Stanley wants money to leave town, Craig offers to arrange a loan. Stanley then asks him to dinner at a local tavern. When he does not appear, Stanley gets very drunk. Driving too fast, she hits and kills a child. Stanley's car is recognized, but when the ... +


Asa Timberlake has lost his money to William Fitzroy, his former partner in the tobacco business. His wife Lavinia, William's sister, and he have two daughters: Roy, who is married to Dr. Peter Kingsmill, and Stanley, engaged to be married to lawyer Craig Fleming. The selfish Stanley is the favorite of her uncle William, who showers her with expensive presents. The night before her wedding, Stanley runs off with Roy's husband. Roy wastes no time mourning, but continues with her decorating business and divorces Peter, leaving him free to marry Stanley. Sometime later, Roy encounters Craig in the park, and they begin to seeing each other. Craig hires Parry Clay, the son of the Timberlake maid, Minerva, to work in his law office to help Parry put himself through law school. William offers to make Craig his attorney if he will drop certain poorer clients, and when Craig refuses, Roy agrees to marry him as soon as possible. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Stanley's marriage deteriorates: she spends too much money and Peter drinks too much. Finally, in desperation, Peter commits suicide, and Roy travels to Baltimore to bring her sister home. As soon as Stanley recovers, she resolves to win back Craig's affections. She visits Craig's office under the pretext of wanting information about Peter's insurance policy. Learning that Stanley wants money to leave town, Craig offers to arrange a loan. Stanley then asks him to dinner at a local tavern. When he does not appear, Stanley gets very drunk. Driving too fast, she hits and kills a child. Stanley's car is recognized, but when the police question her, she claims that Parry was driving her car that night and that he must have committed the crime. Roy is suspicious, however, and learns from Minerva that Parry was at home on the evening in question. Roy is convinced that Stanley is lying, but Craig is still unsure. He tricks Stanley into facing Parry, who is now in jail, but she still refuses to tell the truth. Craig reminds her that she had invited him to the tavern and when he tells her that he questioned the bartender, Stanley breaks down. Craig insists on taking her to the district attorney, but Stanley, under the guise of changing her clothes sneaks out. She drives to William's and begs him to save her from jail. William, who has just learned that he has only six months to live, is too stunned by the news to pay attention to his niece, however. The police, who have been summoned by Craig, arrive at the house and Stanley once again tries to escape. The police see her and chase the car. During the chase, Stanley crashes the car and dies. +

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.