Forbidden (1932)

83 or 87 mins | Melodrama | 15 January 1932

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HISTORY

In his autobiography, director Frank Capra admitted that he wrote the story for Forbidden "with a very large assist from Fannie Hurst's Back Street " (New York, 1931). According to contemporary news items, this film was supposed to have begun production on 15 Jul 1931 but was delayed due to Barbara Stanwyck's contract dispute with Columbia. While the case was in court, Capra directed Platinum Blonde . After the case was settled, Stanwyck agreed to do Forbidden for the salary stipulated in her contract. According to HR , Paul Muni was to have co-starred with Stanwyck and Adolphe Menjou. Actor Ralph Bellamy was borrowed from Fox. Although the copyright material and contemporary reviews list Tom Ricketts as "Briggs," the film credits Oliver Eckhardt with the role. A HR news item does include Ricketts and Martha Mattox in the cast, but their participation in the film has not been verified. HR also stated that Florence Wix and Claude King were added to the cast. Modern sources also include them and their respective character names, "Mrs. Smith" and "Mr. Jones." A 31 Aug 1932 FD news item noted that Forbidden was "hailed as a 'screen masterpiece' at the recent International Cinematographic Show in Venice [where] Senator Marconi, Luigi Pirandello and other noted personages were the judges." According to correspondence in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Forbidden was rejected by the PCA in 1935 when Columbia, attempting to re-issue the picture, submitted it for approval. In a letter to Will H. Hays, PCA Director Joseph I. Breen stated ... More Less

In his autobiography, director Frank Capra admitted that he wrote the story for Forbidden "with a very large assist from Fannie Hurst's Back Street " (New York, 1931). According to contemporary news items, this film was supposed to have begun production on 15 Jul 1931 but was delayed due to Barbara Stanwyck's contract dispute with Columbia. While the case was in court, Capra directed Platinum Blonde . After the case was settled, Stanwyck agreed to do Forbidden for the salary stipulated in her contract. According to HR , Paul Muni was to have co-starred with Stanwyck and Adolphe Menjou. Actor Ralph Bellamy was borrowed from Fox. Although the copyright material and contemporary reviews list Tom Ricketts as "Briggs," the film credits Oliver Eckhardt with the role. A HR news item does include Ricketts and Martha Mattox in the cast, but their participation in the film has not been verified. HR also stated that Florence Wix and Claude King were added to the cast. Modern sources also include them and their respective character names, "Mrs. Smith" and "Mr. Jones." A 31 Aug 1932 FD news item noted that Forbidden was "hailed as a 'screen masterpiece' at the recent International Cinematographic Show in Venice [where] Senator Marconi, Luigi Pirandello and other noted personages were the judges." According to correspondence in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Forbidden was rejected by the PCA in 1935 when Columbia, attempting to re-issue the picture, submitted it for approval. In a letter to Will H. Hays, PCA Director Joseph I. Breen stated that the film "violated the Code, inasmuch as it was basically a glorification of adultery."
       According to modern sources, Helen Hayes was first offered the part of Lulu Smith. Modern sources credit Edward Stevenson with costumes and list the following additional cast members: Robert Graves ( Mr. Eckner ), Harry Holman ( Mick, advice to the lovelorn columnist ), Bob Parrish , Dick Winslow, Cooke Phelps, Roger Byrne ( Office boys ), Carmencita Johnson , Seesel Ann Johnson, Larry Dolan, Lynn Compton ( Children in Halloween scene ), Helen Stuart, Frankie Raymond , Gertrude Pedlar and Wilfred Noy. Modern sources also mention that the film was shot in part at Laguna Beach and Venice, CA. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
20 Jul 31
p. 7.
Film Daily
16 Sep 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
26 Oct 31
p. 7.
Film Daily
4 Nov 31
p. 7.
Film Daily
17 Jan 32
p. 8.
Film Daily
31 Aug 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 31
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 31
p. 1, 4
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 31
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 31
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 31
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 31
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Jan 32
pp. 40-41.
New York Times
11 Jan 32
p. 28.
Variety
12 Jan 32
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Frank R. Capra Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOUND
MAKEUP
SOURCES
SONGS
"Cupid's Holiday," words and music by Irving Bibo and Pete Fylling.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 January 1932
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 9 January 1932
Production Date:
30 September--3 November 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 January 1932
Copyright Number:
LP2737
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
83 or 87
Length(in feet):
7,938
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After librarian Lulu Smith is accused by her patrons of having Spring fever, she spends her life savings on a cruise to Havana, during which she begins a romance with Bob Grover, a lawyer with political ambitions. After their return, Lulu becomes a clerical assistant for a newspaper, where she is pursued by brash reporter Al Holland. One night, several months into their affair, Bob comes to Lulu's apartment for dinner, bringing two Halloween masks with which they have a marvelous time playing. Their merriment is interrupted by a call from Al, whose proposal to Lulu prompts Bob to confess that he has an invalid wife whom he cannot leave. Lulu protests that she wishes to continue their affair, but Bob refuses to let her waste her life on him. They squabble, and Lulu throws him out without telling him she is pregnant. Time passes and Bob becomes district attorney, while Al becomes city editor of the newspaper. After Bob hires a detective, Marty, to find Lulu, the couple are reunited and Lulu introduces Bob to his daughter Roberta. Later, Lulu and Roberta are waiting to meet Bob, when Al suddenly appears. He is questioning her about Roberta when Bob arrives, and, in order to protect Bob's reputation, Lulu tells Al that the baby is Bob's adopted daughter and that she is her governess. In order to preserve the charade, Bob does adopt Roberta, taking her home the next day to present to his wife Helen, who is returning from a European rest cure. Helen is delighted with the child but questions Lulu's ability to care for her. Lulu runs out ... +


After librarian Lulu Smith is accused by her patrons of having Spring fever, she spends her life savings on a cruise to Havana, during which she begins a romance with Bob Grover, a lawyer with political ambitions. After their return, Lulu becomes a clerical assistant for a newspaper, where she is pursued by brash reporter Al Holland. One night, several months into their affair, Bob comes to Lulu's apartment for dinner, bringing two Halloween masks with which they have a marvelous time playing. Their merriment is interrupted by a call from Al, whose proposal to Lulu prompts Bob to confess that he has an invalid wife whom he cannot leave. Lulu protests that she wishes to continue their affair, but Bob refuses to let her waste her life on him. They squabble, and Lulu throws him out without telling him she is pregnant. Time passes and Bob becomes district attorney, while Al becomes city editor of the newspaper. After Bob hires a detective, Marty, to find Lulu, the couple are reunited and Lulu introduces Bob to his daughter Roberta. Later, Lulu and Roberta are waiting to meet Bob, when Al suddenly appears. He is questioning her about Roberta when Bob arrives, and, in order to protect Bob's reputation, Lulu tells Al that the baby is Bob's adopted daughter and that she is her governess. In order to preserve the charade, Bob does adopt Roberta, taking her home the next day to present to his wife Helen, who is returning from a European rest cure. Helen is delighted with the child but questions Lulu's ability to care for her. Lulu runs out of the house, and when Bob follows her, she tries to tell him she is through with him but cannot. Soon after, Lulu goes to Al for a job and becomes the "advice to the lovelorn" columnist for his paper. Al pumps her for information about Bob and Roberta in order to write a story causing Bob's downfall, but Lulu refuses to say anything. As the years pass, Lulu still works for the paper, and Al, now the managing editor, is still pursuing her. Bob has been both a mayor and a congressman, but on the night he wins the nomination for governor, he becomes disheartened, ashamed of the hypocrisy of his double life. Lulu tries to talk him out of confessing the truth and ruining his career, but when it seems that she cannot succeed, she asks Al to marry her, hoping that will make Bob forget about her. On the night of Bob's election, however, Al tells her that he knows all about her, Bob and Roberta, and Lulu kills him to prevent him from publishing the story. A year later, Bob is on his deathbed, and Lulu, whom he had pardoned after a short jail term, comes to visit him. He shows her his new will, which tells the truth and leaves her half of his estate, but after he dies, she tears it up to protect him and Roberta, who is engaged to a socially prominent young man. +

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.