The White Sister (1933 film)
|The White Sister|
|Directed by||Victor Fleming
|Produced by||Hunt Stromberg|
|Written by||Walter Hackett (play)
Donald Ogden Stewart
|Based on||novel (1909)
by F. M. Crawford
|Music by||Herbert Stothart|
|Cinematography||William H. Daniels|
|Edited by||Margaret Booth|
|Language||English / German|
The White Sister is a 1933 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Victor Fleming. The film stars Helen Hayes and Clark Gable. It was based on the 1909 novel by F. Marion Crawford and was a remake of the silent film, The White Sister (1923), starring Lillian Gish and Ronald Colman.
Italian aristocrat Angela Chiaromonte (Helen Hayes) spurns the potential husband chosen by her father (Lewis Stone) in favor of Giovanni Severi (Clark Gable), a handsome army lieutenant. When her lover is reported killed in World War I, Hayes renounces the world to become a nun. After she takes her vows, the lieutenant shows up very much alive. He implores her to give up the order, but she refuses. The lieutenant is later injured in a bombing raid; he dies, with Angela lovingly at his side.
- Helen Hayes as Angela Chiaromonte
- Clark Gable as Giovanni Severi
- Lewis Stone as Prince Guido Chiaromonte
- Louise Closser Hale as Mina Bernardo
- May Robson as Mother Superior
- Edward Arnold as Father Saracinesca
- Alan Edwards as Ernesto Traversi
Principal photography on The White Sister began in December 1932 with two units assigned to the production. Director Fleming completed all of the interiors and backlot sequences at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios at Culver City, California. Second unit director Cullen Tate was in charge of all the aerial sequences filmed in Reno, Nevada. Aerial coordinator Paul Mantz gathered all the aircraft required: Stearman C3, Curtiss Fledgling and Travel Air J-5 biplanes, leased from the Los Angeles area. All the aircraft were repainted to stand in as Italian and German fighters.[N 1]
The White Sister generally received favorable reviews, with Variety saying, "Helen Hayes is the sorrowing Angela, as solid and satisfying a bit of acting as comes to the screen in a blue moon. Clark Gable is a gallant soldier hero and leaves nothing to be desired." Reviewer Mourdant Hall from The New York Times reflected, "It is a beautiful production, but its scenes never seem as real as those of the old mute work."
According to MGM records, the film earned $750,000 in the United States and Canada and $922,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $456,000.
- "The Eddie Mannix Ledger". Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study (Los Angeles).
- Orriss 2013, p. 75.
- "Review: 'The White Sister." Variety, December 31, 1932.
- Orriss, Bruce W. When Hollywood Ruled the Skies: The Aviation Film Classics of World War I. Los Angeles: Aero Associates, 2013. ISBN 978-0-692-02004-3.