Payment Deferred (1932)

75-76 or 80 mins | Drama | 7 November 1932

Director:

Lothar Mendes

Cinematographer:

Merritt Gerstad

Editor:

Frank Sullivan

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Jeffrey F. Dell's play was based on C. S. Forrester's novel of the same name (London, 1926). Charles Laughton recreated his role from the Broadway stage play. Although HR production charts and some reviews include Neil Hamilton in the cast, portraying "Gordon Holmes," he was not in the viewed print or in credits in the cutting continuity for the film contained in copyright records. According to information in reviews and MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the "Holmes" character was a young professor in love with the Winnie Marble character and wanted her to come with him to Canada. "Holmes" was not in the novel or play, and it has not been determined at what point Hamilton's character was cut from the film. According to the PCA file, M-G-M re-issued the film in 1939 and received a certificate after five cuts were made in the dialogue to remove suggestive remarks. Other information in the file notes that M-G-M had been considering a new adaptation of the story in 1945, however, it was never made. According to letters in the file that reproduced news items, in Mar 1933, a fire captain named William J. Costello committed suicide in Peabody, MA using cyanide that his wife had purchased to kill rodents a few days previously. Var and The Boston Post both reported that the means of Costello's suicide was inspired by the M-G-M movie. Correspondence in the file, however, indicates that Police Chief Edward F. Pierce of Peabody called the implication "ridiculous" when contacted by Carleton Simon of the Hays Office. Previous to the release of the film, ...

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Jeffrey F. Dell's play was based on C. S. Forrester's novel of the same name (London, 1926). Charles Laughton recreated his role from the Broadway stage play. Although HR production charts and some reviews include Neil Hamilton in the cast, portraying "Gordon Holmes," he was not in the viewed print or in credits in the cutting continuity for the film contained in copyright records. According to information in reviews and MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the "Holmes" character was a young professor in love with the Winnie Marble character and wanted her to come with him to Canada. "Holmes" was not in the novel or play, and it has not been determined at what point Hamilton's character was cut from the film. According to the PCA file, M-G-M re-issued the film in 1939 and received a certificate after five cuts were made in the dialogue to remove suggestive remarks. Other information in the file notes that M-G-M had been considering a new adaptation of the story in 1945, however, it was never made. According to letters in the file that reproduced news items, in Mar 1933, a fire captain named William J. Costello committed suicide in Peabody, MA using cyanide that his wife had purchased to kill rodents a few days previously. Var and The Boston Post both reported that the means of Costello's suicide was inspired by the M-G-M movie. Correspondence in the file, however, indicates that Police Chief Edward F. Pierce of Peabody called the implication "ridiculous" when contacted by Carleton Simon of the Hays Office. Previous to the release of the film, the Hays Office had warned M-G-M that many territories would not allow the description of a specific poison such as cyanide. Some territories did, in fact, require the elimination of references to cyanide before the film could be exhibited.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
10 Nov 1932
p. 6
HF
13 Aug 1932
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 1932
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 1932
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 1932
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
24 Sep 1932
p. 31
New York Times
8 Nov 1932
p. 26
Variety
15 Nov 1932
p. 23
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dick Rosson
Asst dir
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Merritt B. Gerstad
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Payment Deferred by Jeffrey F. Dell (New York, 30 Sep 1931).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 November 1932
Production Date:
early Aug--early Sep 1932
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
17 October 1932
LP3344
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-76 or 80
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

As Hammond shows a prospective tenant a house in London, the two men discuss the murder that was committed by its former occupant, Willie Marble, and wonder what the walls would say if only they could talk: The Marbles are overwhelmed by debts, and Willie will lose his job in the foreign exchange department of a bank if he doesn't settle a suit brought against him. He hears about a potentially lucrative speculation in the French franc, but hasn't the money to invest in it. When his nephew, James Medland, suddenly arrives from Australia, Willie hopes that the young man's obvious wealth will help him, but James is neither interested in investments nor in giving Willie a loan. Willie then laces James's drink with cyanide that he keeps for his photographic hobby, and steals the money from James's wallet. After burying the body in the backyard, Willie is haunted by it and even his making £30,000 on the franc speculation does not calm him. He sends his wife Annie and daughter Winnie on a holiday and stays home, reading about poisons. He begins an affair Mme. Rita Collins, who owns a local dress shop, but stops when Winnie finds out as she and her mother return a day early from their holiday. Annie soon realizes what Willie has done. Rather than turning him in, her understanding seems to ease Willie's conscience. Their life is peaceful for a while, but when Winnie tells her mother about Willie's affair and decides to stay with some upper-class friends instead of remaining at home, Annie rushes after her in a storm and becomes very ill. ...

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As Hammond shows a prospective tenant a house in London, the two men discuss the murder that was committed by its former occupant, Willie Marble, and wonder what the walls would say if only they could talk: The Marbles are overwhelmed by debts, and Willie will lose his job in the foreign exchange department of a bank if he doesn't settle a suit brought against him. He hears about a potentially lucrative speculation in the French franc, but hasn't the money to invest in it. When his nephew, James Medland, suddenly arrives from Australia, Willie hopes that the young man's obvious wealth will help him, but James is neither interested in investments nor in giving Willie a loan. Willie then laces James's drink with cyanide that he keeps for his photographic hobby, and steals the money from James's wallet. After burying the body in the backyard, Willie is haunted by it and even his making £30,000 on the franc speculation does not calm him. He sends his wife Annie and daughter Winnie on a holiday and stays home, reading about poisons. He begins an affair Mme. Rita Collins, who owns a local dress shop, but stops when Winnie finds out as she and her mother return a day early from their holiday. Annie soon realizes what Willie has done. Rather than turning him in, her understanding seems to ease Willie's conscience. Their life is peaceful for a while, but when Winnie tells her mother about Willie's affair and decides to stay with some upper-class friends instead of remaining at home, Annie rushes after her in a storm and becomes very ill. One day, Rita comes to the door and demands that Willie pay her five hundred pounds. Willie wants her to leave, but their voices are heard by Annie, who sneaks downstairs. Seeing Willie give Rita the money, Annie assumes that their affair is still going on and decides to kill herself. She then puts poison in her glass of orange juice and becomes gravely ill. When she dies, the doctor discovers that she has been poisoned and assumes that Willie has murdered her. Willie is then condemned to death for Annie's murder. As he is about to be hanged, a remorseful Winnie visits him, blaming herself for Annie's death. Willie, however, says that he is simply making a delayed payment for what he did in the past.

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

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