The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)

66-67 mins | Drama | 4 May 1933

Director:

James Whale

Producer:

Carl Laemmle Jr.

Editor:

Ted J. Kent

Production Designer:

Charles D. Hall

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a modern source, Universal originally wanted Charles Laughton to play "Walter Bernsdorf," but was unable to sign him after he went to England to do The Private Life of Henry VIII. Modern sources also note that the film was shot in sequential order. In 1938, Universal released Wives Under Suspicion, based on the same source (see entry). ...

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According to a modern source, Universal originally wanted Charles Laughton to play "Walter Bernsdorf," but was unable to sign him after he went to England to do The Private Life of Henry VIII. Modern sources also note that the film was shot in sequential order. In 1938, Universal released Wives Under Suspicion, based on the same source (see entry).

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
CREDIT
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
General (mod):
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
13 May 1933
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1933
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
16 May 1933
p. 7
Motion Picture Herald
11 Mar 1933
p. 24
New York Times
15 May 1933
p. 16
New York Times
21 May 1933
p. 3
Variety
16 May 1933
p. 21
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Carl Laemmle, President
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Ted Kent
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Der Kuss Vor Dem Spiegel by Ladislaus Fodor (Vienna, Sep 1932).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"A Little Bit of Love," lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan, music by W. Franke Harling.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 May 1933
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Universal Pictures Corp.
3 April 1933
LP3775
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66-67
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Paul Held, a noted attorney in Vienna, defends his best friend, Walter Bernsdorf, who is on trial for the murder of his wife Lucy. After hearing Walter's impassioned description of Lucy's infidelity and the events leading up to the murder, Paul returns home to his wife Maria. While she puts on her make-up in front of her vanity mirror, Paul recognizes a similarity to the events Walter had described in court, and notices that his wife appears to pay special attention to her make-up for reasons unconnected with her love for him. Paul kisses Maria, and she angrily repulses him, claiming he has ruined her make-up; then she casually goes out. Like Walter before him, Paul follows her and watches as she meets clandestinely with her lover. Paul plans to kill Maria and becomes obsessed with the idea of vindicating Walter by proving that his love for his wife made him crazed with jealousy when he saw her with another man. Maria becomes uneasy, because the trial hits too close to home, but continues to see her lover. On the day of deliberations, Paul insists that Maria hear his closing appeal in court. During his speech, Paul claims that "the more a man loves and the more he is deceived, the greater his desire for revenge." He becomes so overwrought while he recounts Walter's trauma that he pulls a gun from his pocket and points it at Maria. She screams and faints, and is taken into his office. Paul finishes his speech, and the court recesses while the jury deliberates. In his office, Maria expects Paul to ...

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Paul Held, a noted attorney in Vienna, defends his best friend, Walter Bernsdorf, who is on trial for the murder of his wife Lucy. After hearing Walter's impassioned description of Lucy's infidelity and the events leading up to the murder, Paul returns home to his wife Maria. While she puts on her make-up in front of her vanity mirror, Paul recognizes a similarity to the events Walter had described in court, and notices that his wife appears to pay special attention to her make-up for reasons unconnected with her love for him. Paul kisses Maria, and she angrily repulses him, claiming he has ruined her make-up; then she casually goes out. Like Walter before him, Paul follows her and watches as she meets clandestinely with her lover. Paul plans to kill Maria and becomes obsessed with the idea of vindicating Walter by proving that his love for his wife made him crazed with jealousy when he saw her with another man. Maria becomes uneasy, because the trial hits too close to home, but continues to see her lover. On the day of deliberations, Paul insists that Maria hear his closing appeal in court. During his speech, Paul claims that "the more a man loves and the more he is deceived, the greater his desire for revenge." He becomes so overwrought while he recounts Walter's trauma that he pulls a gun from his pocket and points it at Maria. She screams and faints, and is taken into his office. Paul finishes his speech, and the court recesses while the jury deliberates. In his office, Maria expects Paul to kill her, but vows that she still loves him. Paul holds off until he hears that Walter is acquitted, but Walter entreats him not to do something he will regret. Lacking the will to kill Maria, Paul forgives her instead and asks her to leave. Later at home, he smashes her vanity mirror. He then turns around to find Maria and they embrace.

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GENRE
Genre:


Subject
Subject (Major):

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

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