Anthony Adverse (1936)

136 or 139 mins | Adventure | 29 August 1936

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writer:

Sheridan Gibney

Cinematographer:

Tony Gaudio

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designer:

Anton Grot

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The filming of Hervey Allen's bestselling, 1,200 page novel, some of which was trimmed to comply with Hollywood's censorship requirements, was an enormous undertaking. Warner Bros. press material claims that the film contains 98 roles, with 78 speaking parts. Files in the Warner Bros. collection at USC reveal that Kitty Carlisle tested as Angela, J. Carrol Naish as Bonaparte, and Bette Davis as Faith. DV notes that Humphrey Bogart was also tested for the role of Napoleon. John Carradine was signed as Ferdinando, but when production problems delayed the filming of his part, he was released to honor a prior commitment. Producer Hal Wallis was interested in borrowing Freddie Bartholomew from M-G-M for the part of Anthony as a boy, and suggested Edward G. Robinson and Basil Rathbone for Don Luis. Studio files also indicate that the property was promised to director William Dieterle, who was bypassed for Harry Warner's son-in-law, Mervyn LeRoy. Milton Krims requested screen credit for his work on the screenplay, but it was denied by the studio. Edward Chodorov also made an uncredited contribution to the script. The African slave compound was constructed on the studio's backlot, occupying twelve acres.
       According to modern sources, the film re-used the miniatures that Fred Jackman built for the Port Royal set in Captain Blood . The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and won Academy Awards for Original Score, Cinematography, Editing and Supporting Actress. Sondergaard's award for Supporting Actress was the first ever awarded in that category, but efforts were made to remove her name from the credits for the 1948 re-release. of the film ... More Less

The filming of Hervey Allen's bestselling, 1,200 page novel, some of which was trimmed to comply with Hollywood's censorship requirements, was an enormous undertaking. Warner Bros. press material claims that the film contains 98 roles, with 78 speaking parts. Files in the Warner Bros. collection at USC reveal that Kitty Carlisle tested as Angela, J. Carrol Naish as Bonaparte, and Bette Davis as Faith. DV notes that Humphrey Bogart was also tested for the role of Napoleon. John Carradine was signed as Ferdinando, but when production problems delayed the filming of his part, he was released to honor a prior commitment. Producer Hal Wallis was interested in borrowing Freddie Bartholomew from M-G-M for the part of Anthony as a boy, and suggested Edward G. Robinson and Basil Rathbone for Don Luis. Studio files also indicate that the property was promised to director William Dieterle, who was bypassed for Harry Warner's son-in-law, Mervyn LeRoy. Milton Krims requested screen credit for his work on the screenplay, but it was denied by the studio. Edward Chodorov also made an uncredited contribution to the script. The African slave compound was constructed on the studio's backlot, occupying twelve acres.
       According to modern sources, the film re-used the miniatures that Fred Jackman built for the Port Royal set in Captain Blood . The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and won Academy Awards for Original Score, Cinematography, Editing and Supporting Actress. Sondergaard's award for Supporting Actress was the first ever awarded in that category, but efforts were made to remove her name from the credits for the 1948 re-release. of the film because she was married to Herbert Biberman, one of the blacklisted "Hollywood Ten." The film was named as one of the National Board of Review's top ten pictures and came in eighth in the FD critics' poll. According to MPH , the staff of the theater at the world premiere in Los Angeles wore costumes of the Napoleanic era. The first night's gross at the theater was twenty percent more than any previous film in their twelve years of operation. Modern sources note that Olivia de Havilland's singing voice was dubbed by Diana Gaylen and that Howard Koch wrote the lyrics to "Angela's" song. According to modern sources Boris Nicholai, Marjorie Gateson, Alma Lloyd and Walter Kingsford were also in the cast. Modern sources place the budget at $1,050,500 with a shooting schedule of 72 days. Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Allen's novel for $40,000, modern sources note. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 May 35
p. 3.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 35
p. 8.
Daily Variety
9 Nov 35
pp. 2-3.
Film Daily
9 May 36
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
11 May 36
p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald
23 May 36
p. 41.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Aug 36
p. 55.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Aug 36
p. 41.
MPSI
Jan 37
p. 7.
MPSI
Jul 37
p. 12.
New York Times
27 Aug 36
p. 16.
New York Times
13 Sep 36
p. 3.
Variety
2 Sep 36
p. 18.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
George E. Stone
J. Carroll Naish
Davidson Clark
George Sorrell
Philip Cooper
Mike Tellegan
Artemis Nigolian
Carlos J. De Valdez
Ray Martin
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Second asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Contr to scr and dial
Tech consultant
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch cond
Opera sequences staged by
Operatic sequences
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Cosmetician
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr clerk
Still photog
Publicity
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen (New York, 1933).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 August 1936
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 29 July 1936
New York opening: 26 August 1936
Production Date:
began 6 November 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 July 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6465
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
136 or 139
Length(in reels):
15
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1784
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1775, petty Italian nobleman Don Luis has married the young and beautiful Maria Bonnyfeather, but because of poor health, has yet to consummate their marriage. While middle-aged Don Luis is away taking a cure, Maria has an affair with the dashing Denis Moore and becomes pregnant. Don Luis challenges Denis to a duel when he discovers Maria's infidelity. Denis is killed, and Maria dies shortly thereafter in childbirth. Don Luis abandons the infant at a convent on St. Anthony's feastday. In honor of the saint, the sisters name the homeless boy Anthony. Ten years later, the boy is taken by Father Xavier to apprentice at Casa de Bonnyfeather. Although Don Luis told John Bonnyfeather that his grandson died along with Maria, the merchant recognizes his daughter's features in the orphan and gives Anthony the surname Adverse in recognition of his difficult life. Anthony grows into a responsible businessman and falls in love with Angela Guisseppi, the cook's daughter. Despite a separation, complicated by Napoleon's invasion of Italy, the couple is reunited and married. Soon after the ceremony, however, Anthony has to leave for Havana to save his benefactor Bonnyfeather's fortune. Because the note he leaves for Angela is blown away by the wind, she does not know where he is and pursues her operatic career. Anthony is frustrated in his attempt to help Bonnyfeather and leaves for Africa to engage in slave trading. Buying and selling human lives corrupts Anthony, but he is redeemed by the death of the generous Brother François, whom he reveres. Anthony returns to Italy to find that Bonnyfeather has died and that his scheming housekeeper, Faith Paleologus, ... +


In 1775, petty Italian nobleman Don Luis has married the young and beautiful Maria Bonnyfeather, but because of poor health, has yet to consummate their marriage. While middle-aged Don Luis is away taking a cure, Maria has an affair with the dashing Denis Moore and becomes pregnant. Don Luis challenges Denis to a duel when he discovers Maria's infidelity. Denis is killed, and Maria dies shortly thereafter in childbirth. Don Luis abandons the infant at a convent on St. Anthony's feastday. In honor of the saint, the sisters name the homeless boy Anthony. Ten years later, the boy is taken by Father Xavier to apprentice at Casa de Bonnyfeather. Although Don Luis told John Bonnyfeather that his grandson died along with Maria, the merchant recognizes his daughter's features in the orphan and gives Anthony the surname Adverse in recognition of his difficult life. Anthony grows into a responsible businessman and falls in love with Angela Guisseppi, the cook's daughter. Despite a separation, complicated by Napoleon's invasion of Italy, the couple is reunited and married. Soon after the ceremony, however, Anthony has to leave for Havana to save his benefactor Bonnyfeather's fortune. Because the note he leaves for Angela is blown away by the wind, she does not know where he is and pursues her operatic career. Anthony is frustrated in his attempt to help Bonnyfeather and leaves for Africa to engage in slave trading. Buying and selling human lives corrupts Anthony, but he is redeemed by the death of the generous Brother François, whom he reveres. Anthony returns to Italy to find that Bonnyfeather has died and that his scheming housekeeper, Faith Paleologus, will receive Bonnyfeather's fortune if Anthony does not reach Paris to claim his inheritance. On the road to Paris, Faith and Don Luis, who have been conspiring together, fail to murder Anthony. Once in the city, Anthony is reunited with his friend, Vincent Nolte, who is now a prominent banker on the verge of bankruptcy. No longer interested in riches, Anthony offers his fortune to Vincent and continues his search for Angela. With the help of opera impressario Debrulle, Anthony not only finds Angela, but also discovers that he has a son. Angela admits that she is still singing, but does not confess that she is now known as Mlle. Georges, the infamous opera star and mistress to Napoleon. Anthony discovers her new identity when he sees her perform and decides to leave for America in search of a new life. Angela is loyal to the Emperor, but nobly sacrifices her son, sending him to America with his father. +

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.