Chained (1934 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Clarence Brown|
|Produced by||Hunt Stromberg|
John Lee Mahin
|Editing by||Robert J. Kern|
|Release date(s)||September 1, 1934|
|Running time||74 minutes|
Chained is a 1934 motion picture directed by Clarence Brown, and starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable and Otto Kruger. The plot concerns a kept woman who finds herself drawn to a charismatic South American rancher while aboard a cruise, all the while still harboring feelings for her married lover back home. The screenplay was written by John Lee Mahin, which was based upon a story by Edgar Selwyn. Chained is the fifth of eight cinematic collaborations between Crawford and Gable.
Eager to marry his devoted secretary, Diane Lovering, New York shipping magnate Richard Field asks his wife Louise for a divorce. Louise, however, refuses to give up her social position and denies Richard's request. Although Diane insists that she will continue to love him without the benefit of marriage, Richard asks her to contemplate her choices while cruising to South America on one of his boats. Diane agrees to the cruise, but vows to return to New York unchanged. Soon after boarding, Diane meets Johnnie Smith in the ship's bar and firmly rejects his flirtations. Determined, Johnny asks his smooth-talking best friend, Mike Bradley, for help, but is double-crossed when Mike treats him like a masher in front of Diane. Mike soon charms Diane, and a shipboard romance blossoms. Still true to Richard, Diane makes no commitments to Mike and declines his invitation to visit him on his ranch in Buenos Aires. Mike nevertheless shows up at her Buenos Aires' hotel and insists that she join him at his ranch. After a fun-filled day, Diane and Mike confess their mutual love, and Diane finally tells Mike about Richard. Realizing that Mike is the man she truly loves, Diane promises him that when she returns to New York, she will end her affair with Richard. However, as soon as she sees him, Richard presents her with a wedding ring and explains to her that his wife finally agreed to divorce him on condition that he not be allowed to see his sons. Overwhelmed by his sacrifice for her, Diane says nothing about her romance with Mike and, after writing Mike a "Dear John" letter, marries the millionaire. A year later, Diane runs into Mike in a New York gun shop and suggests that they dine together. In spite of his bitterness, Mike finds that he still loves Diane and senses that she still loves him. Finally, Diane admits her feelings, but explains that she is sacrificing their love to remain loyal to Richard. Although Diane tries to avoid Mike by starting her vacation with Richard early, Mike drops by their country house and, in spite of Diane's protests, vows to confront his rival. When Mike sees how kind and caring Richard is with Diane, however, he backs down from his threat and leaves abruptly. Afterward, Richard reveals to Diane that he had long sensed that she was in love with another man and nobly offers to divorce her. Unchained at last, Diane and Mike begin their married life on his Argentine ranch.
- Joan Crawford.... Diane Lovering
- Clark Gable.... Michael 'Mike' Bradley
- Otto Kruger.... Richard Field
- Stuart Erwin.... John 'Johnnie' Smith
- Una O'Connor.... Amy, Diane's Maid
- Marjorie Gateson.... Mrs. Louise Field
- Akim Tamiroff.... Pablo, the Ranch Chef
Motion Picture Herald noted, "The showmanship value of the entertainment elements with which this picture deals is long and solidly established. The leading players...are among the foremost exponents of the type of romantic theme which is its motivation."
See also