Girls' Dormitory

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Girls' Dormitory
Girls' Dormitory poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Irving Cummings
Produced by Raymond Griffith
Written by Ladislas Fodor
Gene Markey
Starring Herbert Marshall
Ruth Chatterton
Simone Simon
Cinematography Merritt B. Gerstad
Edited by Jack Murray
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
August 8, 1936
Running time
66 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Girls' Dormitory is a 1936 American romance film directed by Irving Cummings.


Set in the fictional Montreaux School for Girls in Switzerland, the main focus of the film is Dr. Stephen Dominick, the school's popular director who is secretly admired by teacher Professor Anna Mathe and the 19-year-old French student Marie Claudel. At a state fair, the girls draw lots to see who gets to ask Dr. Dominick for a dance. Marie wins and nervously asks Dr. Dominick. Because he thinks it is inappropriate to dance with a student, he refuses, causing Marie to burst out in tears and run away. Thereby, she is late for the bus, returning to the boarding school.

A week later, Professor Augusta Wimmer, a strict, unlikable woman, goes through the personal belongings of her students and finds a love letter in the trash. Dr. Dominick and Professor Mathe are assigned to find out who wrote the letter, and conclude Marie is responsible. Upon confronting her, she denies having written the letter, fearing Dr. Dominick will find out about her crush on him. Some of the uptight, old-fashioned teachers, including Professor Wimmer, suspect that while she was gone at the fair, she visited her supposed boyfriend she wrote this letter to. Because the strict rules at the school include not being allowed to date, Marie risks being suspended two days before graduation.

In tears, Marie admits to Professor Mathe that she wrote the letter to Dr. Dominick. Anna informs Dr. Dominick and both sympathize for the girl and prevent her from being sent away to her mother. Dr. Dominick secretly admits to Marie that he feels attracted to her as well, and they start an affair. One night, Marie overhears a conversation in which Professor Mathe admits to being in love with Dr. Dominick and that she will leave the school because she is heartbroken. Trying to prevent this, Marie lies to Dr. Dominick by saying that she lied to him about being in love with him, claiming that she only told him she loved him so she would be able to graduate.

Soon after graduation, Marie is about to be driven back home by her cousin Vallais, when she is suddenly visited by Dr. Dominick. He tells her he could never fall in love with Anna, after which they kiss.



The film was Simone Simon's first American film. The press praised her performance, with The Hollywood Reporter noting that "Hers is a performance unprecedented in Hollywood productions. Fresh, bright and alive, her face mirrors expressions with an ease that transcends acting".[1]


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