Divorce in the Family (1932)

78 mins | Drama | 27 August 1932

Director:

Charles F. Reisner

Producer:

Harry Rapf

Cinematographer:

Oliver T. Marsh

Editor:

William S. Gray

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Father's Sons and Father and Sons were working titles of the film. Some sources reviewed it under the title After Divorce . The MPH review incorrectly credits Samuel Ornitz as co-author of the story. According to pre-production news items in HR , Walter Huston was originally cast in the role of John Parker, and actor Conrad Nagel initially objected to playing the role of a "father" of a five-year-old boy in the film. Another news item in HR noted that actress Verree Teasdale, originally cast in the role of Grace, had to be replaced just prior to the film's production because of a severe case of tonsilitis; however, a production still shows Teasdale in one scene, indicating that she may have done some work on the picture before her illness. According to Jackie Cooper's autobiography, the desert sequences in the film were shot in Mojave, CA. Divorce in the Family marked the screen debut of actress Jean Parker ... More Less

Father's Sons and Father and Sons were working titles of the film. Some sources reviewed it under the title After Divorce . The MPH review incorrectly credits Samuel Ornitz as co-author of the story. According to pre-production news items in HR , Walter Huston was originally cast in the role of John Parker, and actor Conrad Nagel initially objected to playing the role of a "father" of a five-year-old boy in the film. Another news item in HR noted that actress Verree Teasdale, originally cast in the role of Grace, had to be replaced just prior to the film's production because of a severe case of tonsilitis; however, a production still shows Teasdale in one scene, indicating that she may have done some work on the picture before her illness. According to Jackie Cooper's autobiography, the desert sequences in the film were shot in Mojave, CA. Divorce in the Family marked the screen debut of actress Jean Parker (1915--2005). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
29 Oct 32
p. 6.
HF
9 Jul 32
p. 8.
HF
23 Jul 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 32
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jun 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 32
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Aug 32
p. 35.
New York Times
31 Oct 32
p. 18.
Variety
1 Nov 32
p. 13.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Father and Sons
Father's Son
After Divorce
Release Date:
27 August 1932
Production Date:
27 June--late July 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 September 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3241
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Ethnologist John Parker loves his two boys, Al and Terry, and misses them terribly when they have to leave his archaeological dig at the end of the summer. While Al goes to school, Terry returns home to their mother Grace, from whom John is divorced. Once home, Terry learns that Grace has married Dr. Phil Shumaker, a stable man who can provide the home that Grace never had with John. When John gets a note from Terry saying that Grace has married and he wishes he were dead, John decides to give up his work and go to his sons. He visits Al at military school first and asks his assistance in helping Terry to accept Phil as his new father. Though the terms of the divorce prevent John from seeing Terry at home, he takes a place near them and asks Al to keep in touch with him about Terry's progress. Though Phil tries to be a good father, he does not understand Terry and makes rules that are impossible for the child to follow. When Al comes home, he tries to convince Terry that Phil deserves a chance, then talks to Phil about being more of a pal to the boy. One night, after the family has gone to the movies, Al and Terry go for a soda and Al slugs an older boy who says something snide about Grace. Al then develops a crush on Lucille Smith, their next door neighbor, and walks her home instead of Terry. The next day, Phil can't go on a promised rowing trip because of a patient, so Al and Terry ... +


Ethnologist John Parker loves his two boys, Al and Terry, and misses them terribly when they have to leave his archaeological dig at the end of the summer. While Al goes to school, Terry returns home to their mother Grace, from whom John is divorced. Once home, Terry learns that Grace has married Dr. Phil Shumaker, a stable man who can provide the home that Grace never had with John. When John gets a note from Terry saying that Grace has married and he wishes he were dead, John decides to give up his work and go to his sons. He visits Al at military school first and asks his assistance in helping Terry to accept Phil as his new father. Though the terms of the divorce prevent John from seeing Terry at home, he takes a place near them and asks Al to keep in touch with him about Terry's progress. Though Phil tries to be a good father, he does not understand Terry and makes rules that are impossible for the child to follow. When Al comes home, he tries to convince Terry that Phil deserves a chance, then talks to Phil about being more of a pal to the boy. One night, after the family has gone to the movies, Al and Terry go for a soda and Al slugs an older boy who says something snide about Grace. Al then develops a crush on Lucille Smith, their next door neighbor, and walks her home instead of Terry. The next day, Phil can't go on a promised rowing trip because of a patient, so Al and Terry go alone. At the lake they meet Lucille, whom Terry insists on taking along, much to Al's disgust. While Terry is playing, he suddenly hears John whistle for him and is overjoyed to see his father. John makes Terry promise not to tell anyone about their brief meeting, however. Terry becomes jealous of Al's attentions to Lucille and causes the boat to tip over, after which Al and Lucille chase him away. When Terry returns home without the others, he and Phil have a serious argument that results in Phil giving Terry a whipping. When Al takes Lucille home, her father orders him off their property, because Terry has implied that something improper happened between Lucille and Al. Angered that Terry has caused him to get on the wrong side of Lucille's father, Al refuses to side with Terry in his argument with Phil. Feeling alone, Terry then runs away, taking the dog that Phil had given him as a companion. They go on the river in a rickety old boat, but are shortly thereafter followed by Al, who remorsefully goes to look for him, after an argument with Phil. At John's cabin, Terry gives their whistle signal, attracting John's attention. When Terry gives a slightly distorted version of his whipping story, John decides to go to Phil for a confrontation. As Al looks for Terry on the river, he is hit by an oncoming boat. Meanwhile, as Grace is about to leave Phil over the whipping, they are informed of Al's accident. Because Al's lung is punctured, when Phil arrives he has to operate immediately. When Grace returns for Phil's nurse and supplies, she tells John, who has just arrrived. Back at the cabin, Phil comforts a miserable Terry and promises to save Al. When Al needs a transfusion, both Phil and John volunteer to be donors, but only Phil's blood is in the right group. When Al recovers, John prepares to sneak Terry away with him to South America, but Terry has now come to like and respect a considerably softened Phil and John decides at the last moment to let Terry stay with his mother and stepfather. +

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

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