Broken Lullaby (1932)

77 mins | Drama | 23 January 1932

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HISTORY

The working titles of the film were The Man I Killed and The Fifth Commandment. According to a news item in FD, the title was changed to The Fifth Commandment because the original title "caused wrong impressions in the minds of the public about the character of the story." Although the film was billed initially as The Man I Killed, it was copyrighted and released as Broken Lullaby. Although MPH lists the film's running time as 94 minutes, this time is probably an error. The Censorship Dialogue Script in the Paramount script files at the AMPAS Library, lists Phillips Holmes's character as "Pierre." According to an article in Var the film was dubbed into French under the supervision of Jacob Karrol at Joinville studios in France. The dubbed version was released in Franch under the title L'homme que j'ai tue, but the English version was also available for distribution in France. According to a news item in HR, Czechoslovakia banned the film because of its "pacifistic theme." Photo voted Lionel Barrymore for best individual performance of 1932. A modern source notes that shooting took place Sep-Oct 1931. ...

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The working titles of the film were The Man I Killed and The Fifth Commandment. According to a news item in FD, the title was changed to The Fifth Commandment because the original title "caused wrong impressions in the minds of the public about the character of the story." Although the film was billed initially as The Man I Killed, it was copyrighted and released as Broken Lullaby. Although MPH lists the film's running time as 94 minutes, this time is probably an error. The Censorship Dialogue Script in the Paramount script files at the AMPAS Library, lists Phillips Holmes's character as "Pierre." According to an article in Var the film was dubbed into French under the supervision of Jacob Karrol at Joinville studios in France. The dubbed version was released in Franch under the title L'homme que j'ai tue, but the English version was also available for distribution in France. According to a news item in HR, Czechoslovakia banned the film because of its "pacifistic theme." Photo voted Lionel Barrymore for best individual performance of 1932. A modern source notes that shooting took place Sep-Oct 1931.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
5 Oct 1931
p. 8
Film Daily
21 Jan 1932
pp. 3-5
Film Daily
24 Jan 1932
p. 10
Film Daily
4 Feb 1932
p. 2
Film Daily
5 Feb 1932
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1932
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 1935
---
International Photographer
1 Mar 1932
p. 31
Motion Picture Herald
16 Jan 1932
p. 38, 40
New York Times
20 Jan 1932
17
Variety
26 Jan 1932
p. 21
Variety
8 Nov 1932
p. 17
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
William Mellor
2d cam
2d cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play L'homme que j'ai tué by Maurice Rostand (Paris, 15 Jan 1930) and the English-language adaptation, The Man I Killed , by Reginald Berkeley (London, 1931).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
L'homme que j'ai tue
The Fifth Commandment
The Man I Killed
Release Date:
23 January 1932
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Paramount Publix Corp.
26 February 1932
LP2883
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77
Length(in feet):
6,945
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After World War I, Frenchman Paul Renard is haunted by the memory of Walter Holderlin, a German soldier he killed in the heat of battle. Having read and signed Walter's last letter and memorized his home address, Paul goes to Germany to confess his deed to the soldier's family. Anti-French sentiment is strong in Germany and Dr. Holderlin will not suffer Paul's presence in his home until Walter's fiancée Elsa recognizes Paul as the man who has been leaving flowers on Walter's grave. Paul reveals that he knew Walter, but is unable to confess his past, and tells the grateful family he and Walter were friends during the war. Paul and Elsa fall in love and a close bond grows between Paul and the Holderlins, despite the entire town's disapproval. When Elsa shows Paul Walter's former bedroom, he is unable to contain himself any longer and confesses the truth to her. Paul also reveals his plans to tell Dr. and Mrs. Holderlin his secret and then leave, but Elsa intervenes and advises him that his confession and departure would deprive the Holderlins of their second "son." Eventually, Elsa convinces Paul to sacrifice his conscience and stay to make the Holderlins happy. After Paul consents, Dr. Holderlin gives him Walter's violin to play to Elsa's ...

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After World War I, Frenchman Paul Renard is haunted by the memory of Walter Holderlin, a German soldier he killed in the heat of battle. Having read and signed Walter's last letter and memorized his home address, Paul goes to Germany to confess his deed to the soldier's family. Anti-French sentiment is strong in Germany and Dr. Holderlin will not suffer Paul's presence in his home until Walter's fiancée Elsa recognizes Paul as the man who has been leaving flowers on Walter's grave. Paul reveals that he knew Walter, but is unable to confess his past, and tells the grateful family he and Walter were friends during the war. Paul and Elsa fall in love and a close bond grows between Paul and the Holderlins, despite the entire town's disapproval. When Elsa shows Paul Walter's former bedroom, he is unable to contain himself any longer and confesses the truth to her. Paul also reveals his plans to tell Dr. and Mrs. Holderlin his secret and then leave, but Elsa intervenes and advises him that his confession and departure would deprive the Holderlins of their second "son." Eventually, Elsa convinces Paul to sacrifice his conscience and stay to make the Holderlins happy. After Paul consents, Dr. Holderlin gives him Walter's violin to play to Elsa's accompaniment.

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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.