Bad Girl (1931 film)

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Bad Girl
Badgirl movieposter.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed by Frank Borzage
Written by Edwin J. Burke (continuity & dialogue)
Rudolf Sieber (uncredited)
Based on Bad Girl (1928 novel) by Viña Delmar
Bad Girl (1930 play) bu Viña Delmar and Broan Marlowe
Starring Sally Eilers
James Dunn
Minna Gombell
Cinematography Chester Lyons
Edited by Margaret Clancey
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
September 19, 1931 (US)[1]
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.1 million[2]

Bad Girl is a 1931 American Pre-Code drama film. It was written by Edwin J. Burke, from the 1928 novel by Viña Delmar and the 1930 play by Delmar and Brian Marlowe. The film was directed by Frank Borzage.

The movie stars Sally Eilers, James Dunn (actor) and Minna Gombell, and details, in realistic fashion, the day-to-day lives and loves of ordinary people going about their ordinary lives. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Borzage won the Academy Award for Directing and Burke won for Best Writing, Adaptation.


Edna Driggs (Minna Gombell) is a model, performing one afternoon for Bridal clothes together with friend and colleague Dorothy Haley (Sally Eilers). After the job they hang out on a fun-steamboat. Dorothy drags her to a man, saying something about a bet, so Edna plays an ukulele standing near to a man, who is evidently disturbed by the ladies and the ukulele. This man is Eddie Collins (James Dunn), who works in a Radio Shop and dreams to have a shop on his own. He had been saving for it for years.



Director Frank Borzage wanted Spencer Tracy for the lead role, but Fox would not agree to this. Several studio besides Fox were interested in the rights to the novel and play, including Pathé, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Universal Pictures, but they were scared off by the Hays Office's insistence that any film made from the material would have difficulty meeting their standards. Fox, however, was able to provide the censors with a treatment which earned their approval.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]

Bad Girl was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1931. Borzage won the Oscar for Best Director, and Edwin J. Burke won for his adaptation. The film was also listed as one of the ten best films of the year by Film Daily.[1]


20th Century Fox remade the story in 1940 as Manhattan Heartbeat.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bad Girl at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ "FILM WORLD.". The West Australian (Perth: National Library of Australia). October 19, 1934. p. 2. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]