Outcast Lady (1934)

76-77 or 79 mins | Melodrama | 28 September 1934

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writer:

Zoë Akins

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Author Michael Arlen wrote a stage play called The Green Hat , which was based on his novel and opened in Chicago and Detroit in 1924, and in London on 2 Sep 1925. The play is not listed in sources as a basis for the film, however. The working titles for this film were The Green Hat and Iris March . DV , HR and MPD reviewed the film under the latter title. A Nov 1934 British supplement of HR claims that the title was changed from The Green Hat to A Woman of the World as a result of a vote conducted during a public screening of the film. It is not known if the film was ever distributed as A Woman of the World . According to the Preston Sturges Papers at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Irving G. Thalberg assigned Sturges to write a draft of the script for the picture in Sep 1933, but his contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Jan 1934 HR news item, Dudley Murphy was first slated to direct Norma Shearer in the film. M-G-M borrowed Hugh Williams from Fox for the production. HR news items add Reginald Owen and Forrester Harvey to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. After the PCA ordered scenes in the film to be reshot, Monckton Hoffe was assigned to rewrite the objectionable sections, according to a Jun 1934 HR news item.
       Arlen's novel was ... More Less

Author Michael Arlen wrote a stage play called The Green Hat , which was based on his novel and opened in Chicago and Detroit in 1924, and in London on 2 Sep 1925. The play is not listed in sources as a basis for the film, however. The working titles for this film were The Green Hat and Iris March . DV , HR and MPD reviewed the film under the latter title. A Nov 1934 British supplement of HR claims that the title was changed from The Green Hat to A Woman of the World as a result of a vote conducted during a public screening of the film. It is not known if the film was ever distributed as A Woman of the World . According to the Preston Sturges Papers at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Irving G. Thalberg assigned Sturges to write a draft of the script for the picture in Sep 1933, but his contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Jan 1934 HR news item, Dudley Murphy was first slated to direct Norma Shearer in the film. M-G-M borrowed Hugh Williams from Fox for the production. HR news items add Reginald Owen and Forrester Harvey to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. After the PCA ordered scenes in the film to be reshot, Monckton Hoffe was assigned to rewrite the objectionable sections, according to a Jun 1934 HR news item.
       Arlen's novel was first filmed by M-G-M as A Woman of Affairs in 1928. Clarence Brown directed Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in the silent, with synchronized sound version (See Entry). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Aug 34
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Nov 34
p. 4.
HF
28 Apr 34
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 34
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 34
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 34
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 34
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 34
p. 5 (British supplement).
Motion Picture Daily
18 Aug 34
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Sep 34
p. 38.
New York Times
3 Nov 34
p. 20.
Variety
6 Nov 34
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Z. Leonard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
Addl scenes by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Rec dir
Synchronization
Mixer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Green Hat by Michael Arlen (New York, 1924).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Woman of the World
Iris March
The Green Hat
Release Date:
28 September 1934
Production Date:
23 April--8 June 1934
Copyright Claimant:
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 September 1934
Copyright Number:
LP4981
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76-77 or 79
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
252
SYNOPSIS

Although they love each other very much, Iris March and her childhood sweetheart, Napier Harpenden, face the intense disapproval of Napier's father, Sir Maurice, who views the relatively poor Iris and her alcoholic brother Gerald as a hindrance to his son's political future. As a compromise, Napier suggests that they wait to marry until he has established himself in the British diplomatic service in India, and Iris reluctantly agrees. After four years of waiting, however, Iris gives in to the pressure of Gerald and accepts the proposal of Boy Fenwick, a much-admired, more prosperous friend of her brother who has loved her quietly for a long time. When Napier receives word of Iris' engagement, he graciously leaves India to attend her wedding in England. Just before the ceremony, a strange woman hands Iris a folded note, which Iris pockets without reading. Then on the first night of her French honeymoon, Iris remembers the note and starts to read it in front of Boy. Disturbed by the note, Iris tries to throw it away, but Boy insists on reading it himself. When Iris gently asks if the note, which claims that, under an assumed name, Boy committed and served prison time for a heinous crime, is true, Boy responds affirmatively. Although Iris bravely dismisses the confession, Boy is overcome with shame and jumps out of the hotel window to his death. A passerby, Dr. Masters, and Hilary, a family friend, learn Boy's secret but, because Iris refuses to reveal the reason for Boy's suicide to anyone else, she is suspected both of pushing him out of the window and of causing his death by ... +


Although they love each other very much, Iris March and her childhood sweetheart, Napier Harpenden, face the intense disapproval of Napier's father, Sir Maurice, who views the relatively poor Iris and her alcoholic brother Gerald as a hindrance to his son's political future. As a compromise, Napier suggests that they wait to marry until he has established himself in the British diplomatic service in India, and Iris reluctantly agrees. After four years of waiting, however, Iris gives in to the pressure of Gerald and accepts the proposal of Boy Fenwick, a much-admired, more prosperous friend of her brother who has loved her quietly for a long time. When Napier receives word of Iris' engagement, he graciously leaves India to attend her wedding in England. Just before the ceremony, a strange woman hands Iris a folded note, which Iris pockets without reading. Then on the first night of her French honeymoon, Iris remembers the note and starts to read it in front of Boy. Disturbed by the note, Iris tries to throw it away, but Boy insists on reading it himself. When Iris gently asks if the note, which claims that, under an assumed name, Boy committed and served prison time for a heinous crime, is true, Boy responds affirmatively. Although Iris bravely dismisses the confession, Boy is overcome with shame and jumps out of the hotel window to his death. A passerby, Dr. Masters, and Hilary, a family friend, learn Boy's secret but, because Iris refuses to reveal the reason for Boy's suicide to anyone else, she is suspected both of pushing him out of the window and of causing his death by callous feminine behavior. In spite of their love for her, even Napier and Gerald, who worshipped Boy, suspect Iris of treachery and turn their backs on her. Thus condemned by family and friends, Iris moves to France and establishes herself as Europe's most notorious widow. Five years later, Iris is notified by Hilary that Gerald is seriously ill and living in squalor and immediately returns to England to see him. After seeing Napier and hearing of his engagement to the respectable Venice, Iris goes to her brother's tenement. Still angry at his sister, the tubercular, drunken Gerald refuses to see her, and fearing that he will die without forgiving her, Iris agrees to allow Hilary to tell him the truth about Boy. Before Hilary reveals Boy's past, Gerald declares his love for Iris and dies without learning the secret. Although relieved by Gerald's forgiveness, Iris returns to France and lapses into a feverish, deluded state. When he learns of Iris' illness, the now married Napier, who has just distinguished himself as a Parliamentary leader, rushes to be with her. When Venice sees Iris and Napier together, she understands the depth of their love but, because of Iris' unexplained past, worries that her husband will one day be hurt by her rival. Unable to keep Boy's secret any longer, Hilary finally tells Napier and Venice the truth, and Venice magnanimously agrees to a divorce. Buoyed by the thought that Napier has forgiven her without knowing Boy's secret, Iris recovers and prepares to face Sir Maurice. Although Sir Maurice backs down from his condemnation of Iris when Napier finally tells him about Boy, Iris is unable go through with the divorce plan and commits suicide by deliberately crashing her automobile. +

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.