Morning Glory (1933)

70 mins | Drama | 18 August 1933

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HISTORY

Zoë Akins' play was unproduced when it was bought by RKO, and had only a limited run in 1939. According to an RKO script report, the character of "Joseph Sheridan" is Jewish in Akin's play. The film, however, makes no mention of Sheridan's religious affiliation. Production files indicate that the actors rehearsed for one week. Modern sources note that director Lowell Sherman got RKO executives to agree to give him the one-week rehearsal period with the actors, in exchange for the brief eighteen-day shooting schedule. According to production files, a dream sequence in which Katharine Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. played "Romeo" and "Juliet" in Shakespeare's famous balcony scene was shot for the film. Other scenes between Shakespeare's lovers were also shot, but none of the footage was used in the final film. In a modern interview, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. claims that only stills of these cut scenes now exist. Studio records indicate that Hepburn was paid $2,500 per week for her work on the picture. An ad for the film boasted that Eastman "supersensitive panchromatic negative" film stock was used in the production. Opening day figures at Radio City Music Hall were, according to the same ad, 22,668 in attendance, and $14,677 in receipts. After six days, attendance was up to 131,000 and $91,000 had been collected in receipts. Hepburn won her first Best Actress Academy Award for her performance. As with her other nominations, Hepburn did not attend the Academy ceremonies.
       Modern sources claim that, unlike most feature films, Morning Glory was shot in the same sequence as the script. Modern sources conflict concerning Hepburn's introduction to the script. ... More Less

Zoë Akins' play was unproduced when it was bought by RKO, and had only a limited run in 1939. According to an RKO script report, the character of "Joseph Sheridan" is Jewish in Akin's play. The film, however, makes no mention of Sheridan's religious affiliation. Production files indicate that the actors rehearsed for one week. Modern sources note that director Lowell Sherman got RKO executives to agree to give him the one-week rehearsal period with the actors, in exchange for the brief eighteen-day shooting schedule. According to production files, a dream sequence in which Katharine Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. played "Romeo" and "Juliet" in Shakespeare's famous balcony scene was shot for the film. Other scenes between Shakespeare's lovers were also shot, but none of the footage was used in the final film. In a modern interview, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. claims that only stills of these cut scenes now exist. Studio records indicate that Hepburn was paid $2,500 per week for her work on the picture. An ad for the film boasted that Eastman "supersensitive panchromatic negative" film stock was used in the production. Opening day figures at Radio City Music Hall were, according to the same ad, 22,668 in attendance, and $14,677 in receipts. After six days, attendance was up to 131,000 and $91,000 had been collected in receipts. Hepburn won her first Best Actress Academy Award for her performance. As with her other nominations, Hepburn did not attend the Academy ceremonies.
       Modern sources claim that, unlike most feature films, Morning Glory was shot in the same sequence as the script. Modern sources conflict concerning Hepburn's introduction to the script. One source states that Hepburn found the screenplay on producer Pandro Berman's desk and, after reading a bit, demanded to be cast in the lead, even though Berman had planned to cast Constance Bennett in the part. Another source claims that Berman gave Akins' play to Hepburn's best friend, Laura Harding, to read with Hepburn already in mind. Harding then gave Hepburn the script with her strong recommendation. Akins, however, had modeled the Eva Lovelace role on her close friend, Tallulah Bankhead. When Hepburn was cast instead of Bankhead, she insisted that the play be re-written for her, with the sarcastic aspects of Eva's character excised. One modern source speculates that Akins worked with screenwriter Howard J. Green on the re-write. In one modern interview, Hepburn says that she used Ruth Gordon as a model for some of the film's scenes. Modern sources credit Tommy Atkins as assistant director. In 1957, Sidney Lumet directed Susan Strasberg, Henry Fonda and Christopher Plummer in another RKO version of Akins' play. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
16 Aug 33
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 33
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 May 33
p. 25.
International Photographer
Jun 33
p. 31.
Motion Picture Daily
16 Aug 33
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
29 Jul 33
p. 28.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Aug 33
pp. 38-39.
Motion Picture Herald
26 Aug 33
pp. 63-68.
New York Times
18 Aug 33
p. 18.
Variety
22 Aug 33
p. 22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Fredric Santly
Bobby Bolder
Frankie Raymond
John Peter Richmond
Carlton Griffin
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Pandro S. Berman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir addl scenes
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
Photog addl scenes
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec on addl scenes
Mus rec
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Still photog
STAND INS
Stand-in for Katharine Hepburn
Stand-in for Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Morning Glory by Zoë Akins (Los Angeles, 17 Oct 1939).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 August 1933
Production Date:
21 April--12 May 1933
Copyright Claimant:
RKO-Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 August 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4090
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Newly arrived in New York from Vermont, aspiring actress Eva Lovelace makes her way to the waiting room of Broadway manager Louis Easton and introduces herself to actor Robert Harley Hedges. Taken with Hedges' British accent, the wide-eyed, babbling Eva explains her ambition to become a great actress and begs him to tutor her in elocution. As Eva and Robert talk, Louis Easton and playwright Joseph Sheridan discuss casting for Joseph's new comedy, Blue Skies , which Easton is producing. Because she is under contract with him, Easton wants tempermental star Rita Vernon in the lead, and she consents on condition that she be able to choose her next part. Consequently, when Rita hears that Sheridan is adapting a Ferenc Molnár novel, she insists on reading it, even though Sheridan feels strongly that the story is too serious for her talents. After Rita leaves Louis' office, Robert introduces Eva to Louis and Joseph. Although Joseph finds Eva charming and provocative, Louis describes her as "nuts" and dismisses her. Later, on opening night of Blue Skies , Robert takes a starving, broke Eva to a party at Louis' penthouse. Eva, who had been cast by Joseph in a bit role in Blue Skies but had left the show before its premiere, drinks champagne and quickly becomes intoxicated. Made bold by drink, Eva flirts openly with Louis and performs two scenes from Shakespeare for him. While her performance moves Joseph, Louis remains dubious and distant. The next morning, Joseph returns to Louis' and is stunned when Louis reveals that he slept with Eva but now wants to ... +


Newly arrived in New York from Vermont, aspiring actress Eva Lovelace makes her way to the waiting room of Broadway manager Louis Easton and introduces herself to actor Robert Harley Hedges. Taken with Hedges' British accent, the wide-eyed, babbling Eva explains her ambition to become a great actress and begs him to tutor her in elocution. As Eva and Robert talk, Louis Easton and playwright Joseph Sheridan discuss casting for Joseph's new comedy, Blue Skies , which Easton is producing. Because she is under contract with him, Easton wants tempermental star Rita Vernon in the lead, and she consents on condition that she be able to choose her next part. Consequently, when Rita hears that Sheridan is adapting a Ferenc Molnár novel, she insists on reading it, even though Sheridan feels strongly that the story is too serious for her talents. After Rita leaves Louis' office, Robert introduces Eva to Louis and Joseph. Although Joseph finds Eva charming and provocative, Louis describes her as "nuts" and dismisses her. Later, on opening night of Blue Skies , Robert takes a starving, broke Eva to a party at Louis' penthouse. Eva, who had been cast by Joseph in a bit role in Blue Skies but had left the show before its premiere, drinks champagne and quickly becomes intoxicated. Made bold by drink, Eva flirts openly with Louis and performs two scenes from Shakespeare for him. While her performance moves Joseph, Louis remains dubious and distant. The next morning, Joseph returns to Louis' and is stunned when Louis reveals that he slept with Eva but now wants to get rid of her. After Joseph confesses to Louis that he loves Eva, she leaves, unaware of either man's feelings toward her. Several months later, Joseph's new show, which stars Rita, is about to open. Minutes before curtain, however, Rita confronts Louis with excessive contract demands, and Joseph insists that Eva, who has been cast in a bit part, take over the lead. After Eva gives a show-saving performance, Louis visits her in her dressing room, and although he pledges to guide her career, he refuses her love. Joseph then confesses his love but is gently rejected by Eva. Alone with her maid, a fallen Broadway star whose career Robert compares to a "morning glory," a flower that blossoms bright but quickly fades, Eva reveals her sudden loneliness. As she gazes into her dressing room mirror, Eva nonetheless vows not to be afraid of turning into a morning glory herself. +

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

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