Looking Forward (1933)

76 or 82-83 mins | Drama | 28 April 1933

Director:

Clarence Brown

Cinematographer:

Oliver T. Marsh

Editor:

Hugh Wynn

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Service, Yesterday's Rich and The New Deal. MPH reviewed the film as The New Deal. The following quotation from Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 book Looking Forward, which the filmmakers acknowledge as the source of the film's title, appears in an onscreen foreword: "We need enthusiasm, imagination and ability to face facts--we need the courage of the young." Var notes that Harry Rapf's onscreen associate producer credit was a "departure on the Metro lot." ...

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The working titles of this film were Service, Yesterday's Rich and The New Deal. MPH reviewed the film as The New Deal. The following quotation from Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 book Looking Forward, which the filmmakers acknowledge as the source of the film's title, appears in an onscreen foreword: "We need enthusiasm, imagination and ability to face facts--we need the courage of the young." Var notes that Harry Rapf's onscreen associate producer credit was a "departure on the Metro lot."

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 Feb 1933
p. 6
Film Daily
29 Apr 1933
p. 3
HF
25 Feb 1933
p. 12
Motion Picture Daily
12 Apr 1933
p. 7
New York Times
1 May 1933
p. 10
Variety
2 May 1933
p. 13
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cosmopolitan Production; Clarence Brown's Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Bess Meredith
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Service by C. L. Anthony (London, 12 Oct 1932).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Service
The New Deal
Yesterday's Rich
Release Date:
28 April 1933
Production Date:
began late Feb 1933
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
10 April 1933
LP3791
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76 or 82-83
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Beset with severe financial problems brought on by the Depression, London department store owner Gabriel Service bows to the pressure of his two partners and fires many of his employees, including Benton, a forty-year veteran of the accounting department. Although stunned, Benton meekly accepts his dismissal and Service's assessment that he lacks the necessary "push" to be useful to the store and tells his struggling family that his boss had no choice but to let him go. At the same time, Service confronts his daughter Caroline and her stepmother Isabel about their spending habits and tells them that the family fortune is quickly dwindling. When faced with Service's announcement that their large house will have to be sold to save the store, the adulterous Isabel coolly informs her husband that she will be seeking a divorce if he chooses his business over her comfort. While genuinely concerned about her father's well-being, Caroline refuses to accept his assessment of their finances and insists that they keep the house. The next day, Service and his partners discuss a buy-out offer, which has just been made by their main competitor, Stoner's, a store whose business ethics Service deplores. Although saddened by the thought of selling out to Stoner's, Service verbally accepts the offer and that night announces to Caroline that he is going to sacrifice the store to satisfy the family's needs. An apologetic Caroline, however, tells her father that Isabel has already left with another man. Then, while rumors of the Stoner buy-out circulate around London, Benton, who has started a small but successful pastry business with his wife and two children, worries ...

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Beset with severe financial problems brought on by the Depression, London department store owner Gabriel Service bows to the pressure of his two partners and fires many of his employees, including Benton, a forty-year veteran of the accounting department. Although stunned, Benton meekly accepts his dismissal and Service's assessment that he lacks the necessary "push" to be useful to the store and tells his struggling family that his boss had no choice but to let him go. At the same time, Service confronts his daughter Caroline and her stepmother Isabel about their spending habits and tells them that the family fortune is quickly dwindling. When faced with Service's announcement that their large house will have to be sold to save the store, the adulterous Isabel coolly informs her husband that she will be seeking a divorce if he chooses his business over her comfort. While genuinely concerned about her father's well-being, Caroline refuses to accept his assessment of their finances and insists that they keep the house. The next day, Service and his partners discuss a buy-out offer, which has just been made by their main competitor, Stoner's, a store whose business ethics Service deplores. Although saddened by the thought of selling out to Stoner's, Service verbally accepts the offer and that night announces to Caroline that he is going to sacrifice the store to satisfy the family's needs. An apologetic Caroline, however, tells her father that Isabel has already left with another man. Then, while rumors of the Stoner buy-out circulate around London, Benton, who has started a small but successful pastry business with his wife and two children, worries about his former boss. In spite of his family's gentle ridicule, Benton takes some of his wife Lil's meat pastries to a cemetery near the Service store and patiently waits for Service to pass. Service, meanwhile, is confronted by Caroline and his son Michael, who has just returned from Europe, about the buy out. After Michael shows Service drawings of furniture that he had hoped to build and sell at the store, Caroline, who is in love with her father's secretary, insists that, with their combined dedication, the shop can be saved. Although moved by his children's unexpected loyalty, Service refuses to back out of the deal and leaves to sign Stoner's agreement papers. On the way, however, he meets Benton in the cemetery and listens as his former employee passionately describes the Depression as the World War I of the present and begs him to allow his children to fight for the store's future. After Benton convinces him not to sell out, Service returns to Michael and Caroline with the good news and agrees that the Bentons' delicious pastries should be sold in their store.

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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.