The Constant Nymph (1943)

106 mins | Romance | 23 June 1943

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writer:

Kathryn Scola

Producer:

Henry Blanke

Cinematographer:

Tony Gaudio

Editor:

David Weisbart

Production Designer:

Carl Jules Weyl

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

HR news items add the following information about this production: Margaret Sullavan, Merle Oberon, Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland were considered for roles in the film. Wendy Barrie and Eve March tested for the role of "Tessa" and Joan Leslie was announced for the part. According to a press release, Errol Flynn had been considered as Leslie's co-star. Another press release notes that Kay Van Riper was assigned to write the screenplay. Cinematographer Tony Gaudio replaced Ernest Haller. Joan Fontaine received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance as "Tessa." The Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean play was earlier the basis for two British films, both entitled The Constant Nymph : the 1928 silent film starring Ivor Novello and Mabel Poulton and directed by Adrian Bunel, and the 1934 film starring Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper and directed by Basil Dean. Charles Boyer starred with Maureen O'Sullivan in a 10 Jan 1944 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the ... More Less

HR news items add the following information about this production: Margaret Sullavan, Merle Oberon, Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland were considered for roles in the film. Wendy Barrie and Eve March tested for the role of "Tessa" and Joan Leslie was announced for the part. According to a press release, Errol Flynn had been considered as Leslie's co-star. Another press release notes that Kay Van Riper was assigned to write the screenplay. Cinematographer Tony Gaudio replaced Ernest Haller. Joan Fontaine received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance as "Tessa." The Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean play was earlier the basis for two British films, both entitled The Constant Nymph : the 1928 silent film starring Ivor Novello and Mabel Poulton and directed by Adrian Bunel, and the 1934 film starring Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper and directed by Basil Dean. Charles Boyer starred with Maureen O'Sullivan in a 10 Jan 1944 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Jul 1943.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jun 43
p. 3.
Down Beat
1 Aug 43
p. 7.
Down Beat
15 Dec 43
p. 9.
Film Daily
30 Jun 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 41
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 42
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 42
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 43
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Jul 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Jul 43
p. 1401.
New York Times
24 Jul 43
p. 8.
Variety
6 Jun 43
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
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
STAND INS
Piano double for Charles Boyer
Pianist
Singing double for Joan Fontaine
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy (London, 1924) and the play of the same name by Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean (London, 14 Sep 1926).
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 June 1943
Production Date:
late February--early April 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 July 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12196
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
106
Length(in feet):
10,770
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8246
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After young composer Lewis Dodd's latest symphony is badly received in London, he seeks solace at the Swiss home of his old friend and fellow musician, Albert Sanger. Lewis' arrival causes great excitement among Sanger's four daughters: Kate, Toni, Tessa and Paula. Despite the fact that she is only a teenager, Tessa is in love with Lewis and dreams of helping him to reach his full promise as a composer. The ailing Sanger has reared his daughters away from the conventions of society and now worries about their future. He asks Lewis to contact Charles Creighton, Tessa and Paula's wealthy uncle, if he dies. Finished with family business, Sanger then chastises Lewis for the lack of feeling in his music. When the girls play a little song that Lewis wrote for them, Sanger tells Lewis that, far from being a trifle, the beautiful melody is better than his more intellectual work. Some time later, Sanger dies. Kate travels to Milan to study music, and Toni marries wealthy Fritz Bercovy. Complying with Sanger's wishes, Lewis sends for Creighton, who arrives with his beautiful daughter Florence. Lewis and Florence fall immediately in love, and when they announce their engagement, Tessa, who has a bad heart, faints. Creighton arranges for Tessa and Paula to attend school in England, and Lewis and Florence marry. Six months later, Lewis is frustrated by Florence's efforts to manage his career and the couple quarrel frequently and publicly. When Tessa and Paula run away from their school, Lewis immediately leaves to look for them, ignoring the party that Florence has planned to introduce him ... +


After young composer Lewis Dodd's latest symphony is badly received in London, he seeks solace at the Swiss home of his old friend and fellow musician, Albert Sanger. Lewis' arrival causes great excitement among Sanger's four daughters: Kate, Toni, Tessa and Paula. Despite the fact that she is only a teenager, Tessa is in love with Lewis and dreams of helping him to reach his full promise as a composer. The ailing Sanger has reared his daughters away from the conventions of society and now worries about their future. He asks Lewis to contact Charles Creighton, Tessa and Paula's wealthy uncle, if he dies. Finished with family business, Sanger then chastises Lewis for the lack of feeling in his music. When the girls play a little song that Lewis wrote for them, Sanger tells Lewis that, far from being a trifle, the beautiful melody is better than his more intellectual work. Some time later, Sanger dies. Kate travels to Milan to study music, and Toni marries wealthy Fritz Bercovy. Complying with Sanger's wishes, Lewis sends for Creighton, who arrives with his beautiful daughter Florence. Lewis and Florence fall immediately in love, and when they announce their engagement, Tessa, who has a bad heart, faints. Creighton arranges for Tessa and Paula to attend school in England, and Lewis and Florence marry. Six months later, Lewis is frustrated by Florence's efforts to manage his career and the couple quarrel frequently and publicly. When Tessa and Paula run away from their school, Lewis immediately leaves to look for them, ignoring the party that Florence has planned to introduce him to her friends. Lewis fails to find the sisters, but when he returns home, they are waiting. Paula leaves to join Fritz and Toni, who is pregnant, and Tessa stays with Florence and Lewis. When Tessa hears Lewis' latest composition, based on the song that he wrote for her and her sisters, she is disappointed. The next day, Tessa encourages Lewis to put sentiment back into his music. Enthusiastic for the first time since his marriage, Lewis changes his composition with Tessa's help. Florence realizes that Tessa is her rival, despite her youth, and jealously tries to get rid of her, but Lewis comes to her defense. The night of the first performance of Lewis' new work, Lewis finally realizes that he returns Tessa's love and asks her to go away with him, but Tessa refuses because he is married to her cousin. The excitement of Lewis' proposal and the premiere of his composition causes Tessa to have another fainting spell, and Florence insists that Tessa stay home, rather than attend the concert. Lewis' new work is favorably received, but Lewis returns to Tessa before the end of the concert. Florence follows him to tell him that the music has made her understand how much he loves Tessa and so she will not stand in his way if he wants to leave her. Her release is too late, however, as all the conflict has been too much for Tessa's frail heart and she has died. +

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

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