The Age of Innocence (1934)

71 or 81-82 mins | Melodrama | 14 September 1934

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HISTORY

Philip Moeller made his screen directing debut in the film, and Edith Van Cleve made her screen acting debut. RKO borrowed John Boles from Fox for the project. According to modern sources, photographer James Van Trees and his crew were borrowed from Twentieth Century. A HR news item states that RKO wanted Lowell Sherman to direct the film, but conflicting obligations at Universal prohibited him from accepting the job. According to a FD news item, Katharine Hepburn was considered for the part of "Ellen." HR production charts list Jane Murfin as a co-writer with Heerman. Her contribution to the final film has not been determined. In 1924, Wesley Ruggles directed Edith Roberts and Elliott Dexter in a silent Warner Bros. version of Edith Wharton's novel (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.0064). Edith Warton's novel also formed the basis for the 1993 Columbia film The Age of Innocence , directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona ... More Less

Philip Moeller made his screen directing debut in the film, and Edith Van Cleve made her screen acting debut. RKO borrowed John Boles from Fox for the project. According to modern sources, photographer James Van Trees and his crew were borrowed from Twentieth Century. A HR news item states that RKO wanted Lowell Sherman to direct the film, but conflicting obligations at Universal prohibited him from accepting the job. According to a FD news item, Katharine Hepburn was considered for the part of "Ellen." HR production charts list Jane Murfin as a co-writer with Heerman. Her contribution to the final film has not been determined. In 1924, Wesley Ruggles directed Edith Roberts and Elliott Dexter in a silent Warner Bros. version of Edith Wharton's novel (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.0064). Edith Warton's novel also formed the basis for the 1993 Columbia film The Age of Innocence , directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Aug 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Jan 34
p. 11.
Film Daily
1 Sep 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 34
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 34
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 34
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Aug 34
p. 17.
Motion Picture Daily
25 Aug 34
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Jun 34
p. 39.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Sep 34
p. 39.
New York Times
19 Oct 34
p. 19.
Variety
23 Oct 34
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Pandro S. Berman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Assoc dir
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (New York, 1920) and the play of the same name by Margaret Ayer Barnes (New York, 27 Nov 1928).
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 September 1934
Production Date:
mid June--16 July 1934
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 September 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4959
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71 or 81-82
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
140
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When the illicit affair of his grandson Dallas makes headlines in the New York newspapers, lawyer Newland Archer relates to him the story of his own romantic past: At his 1875 engagement party, Newland is re-introduced to Ellen, a childhood friend and the cousin of his fiancée, May Welland. Because she has left her husband in Paris, Ellen, whose married title is Countess Olenska, is considered a social liability but is treated with respect and civility by Newland and his conservative family. When the liberal-minded Ellen, who has moved into a house in Greenwich Village, asks Newland to undertake divorce proceedings on her behalf, however, Newland convinces her that a divorce would ruin her reputation and would cause her family great grief. Although anxious to be free, Ellen listens to Newland's advice and drops her divorce action. However, after Newland sees how attentive Julius Beaufort, a notorious adulterer, is to Ellen, he changes his mind and recommends to her that she renew her divorce plans. Ellen resists Newland's suggestion, convinced that the tranquility of her family, in particular her grandmother, is more important than her own romantic happiness. Filled with doubt about his own upcoming marriage, Newland then visits May, who has been forced by her parents into a year-long engagement, in Florida. Although tempted to break with May, Newland instead reassures her about his feelings and returns to New York. At the urging of his mother, who senses his anxiety about Ellen, Newland soon leaves for a visit with family friends in the country. When Newland and Ellen run into each other there, they confess their mutual love but are surprised by ... +


When the illicit affair of his grandson Dallas makes headlines in the New York newspapers, lawyer Newland Archer relates to him the story of his own romantic past: At his 1875 engagement party, Newland is re-introduced to Ellen, a childhood friend and the cousin of his fiancée, May Welland. Because she has left her husband in Paris, Ellen, whose married title is Countess Olenska, is considered a social liability but is treated with respect and civility by Newland and his conservative family. When the liberal-minded Ellen, who has moved into a house in Greenwich Village, asks Newland to undertake divorce proceedings on her behalf, however, Newland convinces her that a divorce would ruin her reputation and would cause her family great grief. Although anxious to be free, Ellen listens to Newland's advice and drops her divorce action. However, after Newland sees how attentive Julius Beaufort, a notorious adulterer, is to Ellen, he changes his mind and recommends to her that she renew her divorce plans. Ellen resists Newland's suggestion, convinced that the tranquility of her family, in particular her grandmother, is more important than her own romantic happiness. Filled with doubt about his own upcoming marriage, Newland then visits May, who has been forced by her parents into a year-long engagement, in Florida. Although tempted to break with May, Newland instead reassures her about his feelings and returns to New York. At the urging of his mother, who senses his anxiety about Ellen, Newland soon leaves for a visit with family friends in the country. When Newland and Ellen run into each other there, they confess their mutual love but are surprised by the unexpected arrival of May and her parents, who have suddenly decided on a quick wedding. In spite of themselves, Newland and Ellen continue to see each other after the wedding and make plans to take the train together for a weekend in Washington, D.C. After Ellen leaves him waiting at the train station, Newland discovers that she has booked passage on a Europe-bound ship. Overwhelmed by Ellen's unexplained departure, Newland is about to ask May for a divorce when she reveals that she is pregnant and had told Ellen about her condition the previous day. Sobered by his approaching fatherhood, Newland embraces May and accepts the loss of Ellen. Back in the present, Newland, now a widower, concludes his story and is shocked when Dallas tells him that Ellen is waiting for him in a New York hotel. Newland, however, refuses to see her, wishing instead to remember their love "as it was." +

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

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