The Fountain (1934)

83-85 mins | Drama | 31 August 1934

Director:

John Cromwell

Writer:

Jane Murfin

Cinematographer:

Henry Gerrard

Editor:

William Morgan

Production Designers:

Van Nest Polglase, Carroll Clark

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

RKO borrowed Paul Lukas from Universal for this film. According to modern sources, by coincidence, an extra used in the opening sequences was a former German prisoner-of-war camp guard who was present at the same camp where novelist Charles Morgan was a prisoner, and was severely punished by his superiors after a successful escape by Morgan. Modern sources also state that the film lost $150,000 at the box office. According to FD , a brief version of Morgan's story was broadcast on Borden's "Forty-Five Minutes in Hollywood" program on 30 Aug ... More Less

RKO borrowed Paul Lukas from Universal for this film. According to modern sources, by coincidence, an extra used in the opening sequences was a former German prisoner-of-war camp guard who was present at the same camp where novelist Charles Morgan was a prisoner, and was severely punished by his superiors after a successful escape by Morgan. Modern sources also state that the film lost $150,000 at the box office. According to FD , a brief version of Morgan's story was broadcast on Borden's "Forty-Five Minutes in Hollywood" program on 30 Aug 1934. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Aug 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Aug 34
p. 7.
Film Daily
28 Aug 34
p. 11.
HF
16 Jun 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 34
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 34
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Aug 34
p. 17.
Motion Picture Daily
10 Aug 34
p. 16.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Jun 34
p. 107.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Aug 34
pp. 38-39.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Sep 34
pp. 37-39.
New York Times
31 Aug 34
p. 14.
Variety
4 Sep 34
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Pandro S. Berman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Fountain by Charles Morgan (New York, 1932).
DETAILS
Release Date:
31 August 1934
Production Date:
14 June--11 July 1934
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 August 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4928
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83-85
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
139
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During World War I, captured British army officer Lewis Allison is sent with several others to an internment fort in neutral Holland. After being caught in an escape attempt, the bookish, idealistic Lewis learns that all prisoners have been paroled and may leave the fort on the promise that they remain in Holland until the war's end. Upon his release, Lewis receives an invitation to live in Enkendaal with the Baron Van Leyden, whose British-born stepdaughter, Julie Von Narwitz, knows Lewis from his Oxford school days. Soon after his arrival, Lewis feels his passion for Julie reviving, but as she is married to Rupert, a German count and officer, he supresses his urge to express it. Eventually, however, neither Lewis nor Julie can deny their common feelings, and Julie confesses that while she admires her noble husband, she cannot love him. Although she prudently sends Lewis away, the baron invites him to return two years later, and desires flame once again. Shortly before the end of the war, Rupert returns from the front, crippled and spiritually defeated. Ann, seeing how much Rupert needs her, dedicates herself to restoring him, again sending Lewis away. Curious, however, Rupert later asks to meet the Englishman, and after a brief conversation, begins to suspect that they share more than a common philosophy with each other. When he learns from his jealous stepsister Sophie that Julie and Lewis spent many hours alone together, Rupert collapses from the shock. Although Julie pledges her life to him, Rupert understands that she loves only Lewis and after blessing their union, ... +


During World War I, captured British army officer Lewis Allison is sent with several others to an internment fort in neutral Holland. After being caught in an escape attempt, the bookish, idealistic Lewis learns that all prisoners have been paroled and may leave the fort on the promise that they remain in Holland until the war's end. Upon his release, Lewis receives an invitation to live in Enkendaal with the Baron Van Leyden, whose British-born stepdaughter, Julie Von Narwitz, knows Lewis from his Oxford school days. Soon after his arrival, Lewis feels his passion for Julie reviving, but as she is married to Rupert, a German count and officer, he supresses his urge to express it. Eventually, however, neither Lewis nor Julie can deny their common feelings, and Julie confesses that while she admires her noble husband, she cannot love him. Although she prudently sends Lewis away, the baron invites him to return two years later, and desires flame once again. Shortly before the end of the war, Rupert returns from the front, crippled and spiritually defeated. Ann, seeing how much Rupert needs her, dedicates herself to restoring him, again sending Lewis away. Curious, however, Rupert later asks to meet the Englishman, and after a brief conversation, begins to suspect that they share more than a common philosophy with each other. When he learns from his jealous stepsister Sophie that Julie and Lewis spent many hours alone together, Rupert collapses from the shock. Although Julie pledges her life to him, Rupert understands that she loves only Lewis and after blessing their union, 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.