Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)

78, 82 or 88 mins | Drama | 10 June 1932

Director:

Dorothy Arzner

Cinematographer:

David Abel

Production Company:

Paramount Publix Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Jerry and Joan . In the plot synopsis in the pressbook, Joan returns to Chicago after Jerry begins his drinking and his affair with Claire in New York. Joan attends a party in Chicago where she is confronted with Jerry and Claire boldly kissing. Joan tries to drown herself, but is rescued by a friend. Jerry finally comes to her side, and they reconcile. According to a news item in FD , Jack Oakie was slated to appear in the film. Cary Grant's role was originally listed as "Stage leading man" in the copyright records and pressbook. According to a news item in Var , the LAT refused to print the title of the film in its advertisements, although it was printed in their review. No other newspapers refused the ... More Less

The working title of the film was Jerry and Joan . In the plot synopsis in the pressbook, Joan returns to Chicago after Jerry begins his drinking and his affair with Claire in New York. Joan attends a party in Chicago where she is confronted with Jerry and Claire boldly kissing. Joan tries to drown herself, but is rescued by a friend. Jerry finally comes to her side, and they reconcile. According to a news item in FD , Jack Oakie was slated to appear in the film. Cary Grant's role was originally listed as "Stage leading man" in the copyright records and pressbook. According to a news item in Var , the LAT refused to print the title of the film in its advertisements, although it was printed in their review. No other newspapers refused the publicity. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 Feb 32
p. 4.
Film Daily
11 Jun 32
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 32
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Jun 32
p. 34.
New York Times
11 Jun 32
p. 9.
Variety
14 Jun 32
p. 17.
Variety
28 Jun 32
p. 4.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Jerry and Joan
Release Date:
10 June 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Publix Corp.
Copyright Date:
9 June 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3089
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78, 82 or 88
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Chicago newspaper reporter and aspiring playwright Jerry Corbett and heiress Joan Prentice meet at a house party and fall in love. Despite Jerry's reputation as a drinker and his poor economic status, Joan accepts his marriage proposal. Joan's father does his best to prevent the union, offering Jerry money to back out, but Jerry refuses. When Jerry shows up late and drunk for their engagement party, everyone thinks Joan will see the error of her ways, but she remains steadfast and marries him. Jerry works on his plays at home and remains sober even while receiving rejection notices from publishers. Finally, Jerry's play When a Woman Says No is bought, and he and Joan go to New York for the production. The play stars Jerry's former flame, Claire Hempstead. The night of the premiere, Jerry becomes intoxicated and when his friend Buck brings him home in a stupor, Jerry mistakes Joan for Claire. Although she realizes Jerry started drinking again only when he was around Claire, Joan insists on staying with him in New York. When she finds him leaving one night to go to Claire's, she throws him out, but the next day, she informs him that she has decided to behave as if they had a modern marriage and so intends to take up with some lovers herself. So, while Jerry is making his usual "Merrily we go to hell" toast with Claire, Joan toasts the "holy state of matrimony--single lives, single beds and triple bromides in the morning" with her date, Charlie Baxter. On New Year's Eve, Joan finds out that she is pregnant, ... +


Chicago newspaper reporter and aspiring playwright Jerry Corbett and heiress Joan Prentice meet at a house party and fall in love. Despite Jerry's reputation as a drinker and his poor economic status, Joan accepts his marriage proposal. Joan's father does his best to prevent the union, offering Jerry money to back out, but Jerry refuses. When Jerry shows up late and drunk for their engagement party, everyone thinks Joan will see the error of her ways, but she remains steadfast and marries him. Jerry works on his plays at home and remains sober even while receiving rejection notices from publishers. Finally, Jerry's play When a Woman Says No is bought, and he and Joan go to New York for the production. The play stars Jerry's former flame, Claire Hempstead. The night of the premiere, Jerry becomes intoxicated and when his friend Buck brings him home in a stupor, Jerry mistakes Joan for Claire. Although she realizes Jerry started drinking again only when he was around Claire, Joan insists on staying with him in New York. When she finds him leaving one night to go to Claire's, she throws him out, but the next day, she informs him that she has decided to behave as if they had a modern marriage and so intends to take up with some lovers herself. So, while Jerry is making his usual "Merrily we go to hell" toast with Claire, Joan toasts the "holy state of matrimony--single lives, single beds and triple bromides in the morning" with her date, Charlie Baxter. On New Year's Eve, Joan finds out that she is pregnant, and is warned by the doctor of her poor physical condition. She tries to tell Jerry, but he is too preoccupied with Claire to listen, and so she leaves him. Jerry soon realizes that Claire means nothing to him, while Joan, to whom he has never professed his love, means everything. Jerry returns to Chicago, works again at the newspaper and remains sober, but Joan's father prevents any attempt he makes at contacting her. Finally, Jerry hears of Joan's pregnancy from the gossip columnist and rushes to the hospital. Joan's father attempts to prevent him from visiting her, even though she asks for him, but Jerry pushes his way through and finds his wife gravely ill. She has lost the baby, but Jerry has returned to give her his undying love. +

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.