Life Begins (1932)

71-72 mins | Drama | 10 September 1932

Director:

James Flood

Cinematographer:

James Van Trees

Editor:

George Marks

Production Designer:

Esdras Hartley

Production Company:

First National Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's pre-release titles were Give Me a Child and Woman's Day. The film was praised for its honest portrayal of a maternity ward. Although the censors expressed concern at its directness, it was acceptable for re-issue in 1936. According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, however, the film was banned in London. It was remade by Warner Bros. in 1940 as A Child is Born (above). ...

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The film's pre-release titles were Give Me a Child and Woman's Day. The film was praised for its honest portrayal of a maternity ward. Although the censors expressed concern at its directness, it was acceptable for re-issue in 1936. According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, however, the film was banned in London. It was remade by Warner Bros. in 1940 as A Child is Born (above).

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
12 Aug 1932
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1932
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1932
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 1932
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 1932
p. 1
Motion Picture Herald
13 Aug 1932
p. 31
New York Times
26 Aug 1932
p. 20
Variety
30 Aug 1932
p. 14
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Ray Griffith
Supv
WRITER
Scr adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch cond
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Life Begins by Mary McDougal Axelson (New York, 28 Mar 1932).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Give Me a Child
Woman's Day
Release Date:
10 September 1932
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 4 Sep 1932
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
First National Pictures, Inc.
5 September 1932
LP3229
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71-72
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward running smoothly. Things liven up when Grace Sutton is transferred from the prison where she is being held for murder. Most agree that the man she killed deserved to die, and Nurse Bowers sympathetically allows Grace's concerned husband Jed unlimited time with his wife. On the ward, the women have varied feelings about motherhood. Mrs. West, mother of six children, thinks babies are what give meaning to women's lives. In contrast, Florette, a showgirl, just wants to get rid of her twins as soon as possible. Miss Layton has decided opinions about child rearing and has no intention of being a doting mother. While the women debate their various theories, a woman who wants a baby so much that she has become demented wanders in from another ward. An Italian woman quietly sobs when she learns that her newborn has died. After a touching farewell with Jed, Grace, whose health has suffered from prison conditions, is taken into the labor room. While Jed waits anxiously, Florette is appalled by the plans that the prospective adoptive mother of her twins has concocted. She cradles one baby herself and discovers mother love. Miss Layton has also given up on her progressive plans for her baby. Down the hall, things are going badly for Grace. When the doctors ask Jed to choose between saving Grace or the baby, he chooses Grace, but she herself insists that the doctors operate and ...

More Less

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward running smoothly. Things liven up when Grace Sutton is transferred from the prison where she is being held for murder. Most agree that the man she killed deserved to die, and Nurse Bowers sympathetically allows Grace's concerned husband Jed unlimited time with his wife. On the ward, the women have varied feelings about motherhood. Mrs. West, mother of six children, thinks babies are what give meaning to women's lives. In contrast, Florette, a showgirl, just wants to get rid of her twins as soon as possible. Miss Layton has decided opinions about child rearing and has no intention of being a doting mother. While the women debate their various theories, a woman who wants a baby so much that she has become demented wanders in from another ward. An Italian woman quietly sobs when she learns that her newborn has died. After a touching farewell with Jed, Grace, whose health has suffered from prison conditions, is taken into the labor room. While Jed waits anxiously, Florette is appalled by the plans that the prospective adoptive mother of her twins has concocted. She cradles one baby herself and discovers mother love. Miss Layton has also given up on her progressive plans for her baby. Down the hall, things are going badly for Grace. When the doctors ask Jed to choose between saving Grace or the baby, he chooses Grace, but she herself insists that the doctors operate and save the baby. After she dies, Jed refuses to see the baby girl, but wise Nurse Bowers places the child in his arms, and as with the mothers, he cannot resist her charms.

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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.