Smilin' Through (1932 film)
|Directed by||Sidney Franklin|
|Produced by||Albert Lewin|
|Written by||Donald Ogden Stewart
|Music by||William Axt
Arthur A. Penn
|Edited by||Margaret Booth|
|September 24, 1932|
The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1932. It was adapted from Cowl and Murfin's play by James Bernard Fagan, Donald Ogden Stewart, Ernest Vajda and Claudine West. The movie was directed by Sidney Franklin (who also directed an earlier version in 1922) and starred Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard and Ralph Forbes.
John Carteret (Leslie Howard) is a wealthy man with a huge estate. He was set to marry Moonyeen Clare (Norma Shearer), but on their wedding day she was accidentally killed during the wedding ceremony by her drunken and jealous ex-fiance Jeremy Wayne (Fredric March), who actually meant to kill John. John has spent the rest of his life in mourning. However, Moonyeen has kept in touch with him from the next life. He runs the estate, and has a private retreat where he communicates with her spirit.
His close friend Dr. Owens (O.P. Heggie) tells him of Moonyeen's niece Kathleen, whose parents have drowned at sea. He begs John to adopt the child, and he does. Kathleen is five, but as she grows older she looks exactly like the dead Moonyeen (and is also played by Norma Shearer). Her childhood friend Willie (Ralph Forbes) wants to marry her, but she is interested in Kenneth Wayne (also played by Fredric March), whom she meets in dangerous and romantic circumstances. However, Kenneth is the son of Jeremy, Moonyeen's killer, who disappeared and was never found.
John refuses to let them marry and threatens to disinherit her. She leaves with Kenneth, but he sends her back again because he doesn't want to ruin her life. However, John has been deeply affected by the events and has lost his ability to communicate with his dead wife, who perceives his anger and hatred as having set up a barrier she can't overcome.
Kenneth signs up for the Army and is gone for four years, returning as a disabled war veteran. He hides his condition, claims he no longer cares for Kathleen, and plans to go to America. John finds out the truth from Dr. Owens. He sees that Kenneth really cares for Kathleen and is not like his wastrel father. He tells Kathleen, and she runs off to tell Kenneth she still cares for him. John sits down to play chess with Dr. Owens, but apparently dozes off. Amused, Dr. Owens leaves him so that he can take his nap. John, however, has actually died, and his spirit now rises to join the awaiting spirit of Moonyeen, just as Kathleen is heard returning with Kenneth. John and Moonyeen are finally reunited in death.
- Norma Shearer as Kathleen (credited)/Moonyeen (uncredited)
- Fredric March as Kenneth Wayne (credited)/Jeremy Wayne (uncredited)
- Leslie Howard as Sir John Carteret
- O.P. Heggie as Dr. Owen
- Ralph Forbes as Willie Ainley
- Beryl Mercer as Mrs. Crouch
- Margaret Seddon as Ellen, the Maid
- Forrester Harvey as Orderly
- Herbert Bunston as Minister (uncredited)
- Mary Carlisle as Young Party Guest (uncredited)
- Cora Sue Collins as Young Kathleen (uncredited)
- Claude King as Richard Clare, Moonyeen's Father (uncredited)
- David Torrence as Gardener (uncredited)
The film grossed a total (domestic and foreign) of $2,033,000: $1,004,000 from the US and Canada and $1,029,000 elsewhere. It made a profit of $529,000.
- Smilin' Through (1922 film)
- Smilin' Through (1941 film)
- Smilin' Through (play)
- Smilin' Through (song)
- Smilin' Through 1932 at the Internet Movie Database
- Smilin' Through at the TCM Movie Database
- Smilin' Through at AllMovie
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.