They Dare Not Love

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They Dare Not Love
"They Dare Not Love" (1941).jpg
Directed by James Whale
Produced by Samuel Bischoff
Screenplay by
Story by James Edward Grant
Music by Jacques Belasco (uncredited)
Cinematography Franz Planer
Edited by Al Clark
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 16, 1941 (1941-05-16)
Running time
75 minutes
Country United States
Language English

They Dare Not Love is a 1941 romantic war drama film directed by James Whale[1] and starring George Brent, Martha Scott and Paul Lukas. Whale left the picture before the end of production; it was the last film released to credit him as director.


A prince flees Austria when the Nazis take over and settles in London. He encounters a beautiful Austrian émigré who makes him realize his mistake in leaving. He strikes a deal with the Nazis to return in exchange for some Austrian prisoners, but discovers that the Nazis are not to be trusted.


Rest of cast listed alphabetically:

  • Sig Arno – Louis
  • Georgia Backus – German secretary
  • Edgar Barrier – Capt. Wilhelm Ehrhardt
  • Don Beddoe – Second sailor
  • Nicholas Bela – First sailor
  • Leon Belasco – Pierre
  • Olga Borget – Stewardess
  • Egon Brecher – Prof. Keller
  • Lloyd Bridges – Blonde officer
  • Stanley Brown – Michael
  • Jack Chefe – Deck steward
  • Peter Cushing – Sub-Lieutenant Blackler
  • Leslie Denison – English father
  • Paul Deno – Doorman
  • Eddie Fetherston – Reporter
  • Richard Fiske – Photographer
  • Hans Fuerberg – Waiter
  • Jack Gardner – Photographer
  • Gregory Gaye – Von Mueller
  • Jac George – Orchestra leader
  • Robert Heller – German attendant
  • Brenda Henderson – English girl
  • Erwin Kalser – Klaus
  • Cy Kendall – Major Kenlein
  • Richard Lyon – English boy
  • Philo McCullough – Photographer
  • David Oliver – Photographer
  • Gerald Pierce – Messenger boy
  • Paul Power – Society man
  • Frank Reicher – Captain
  • Georges Renavent – Belgian captain
  • John Rogers – Noncommissioned officer
  • Bodil Rosing – Leni
  • Hans Schumm – Bruckner
  • Walter Stahl – Count Marlik
  • Marguerita Sylva – Countess Marlik
  • Phil Taylor – Hugo
  • Philip Van Zandt – Radio operator
  • Frederik Vogeding – Carl Schmidt
  • Charles Wagenheim – Valet
  • Poppy Wilde – Society girl
  • Fred Wolff – Waiter


A Hollywood Reporter article, toward the end of production, reported that Charles Vidor took over from director James Whale, who had fallen ill with the flu. Later, reports of difficulties on set surfaced, including allegations that Whale was abusive toward the cast.[2] Writer Charles Bennett blamed Columbia head Harry Cohn, speculating about a personality conflict and saying that the firing was "... utterly ridiculous, because James Whale was a magnificent director."[3]

They Dare Not Love was Whale's last completed film. He directed a segment of the 1952 RKO Face to Face, "Hello Out There", but it was not included in the released film.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times wrote, "with all the proved talent Columbia put behind the manufacture of "They Dare Not Love" it is hard to understand why the new film at Loew's State should turn out to be the disappointment it is. Granting that James Whale's direction is pedestrian, that the performances of Martha Scott, George Brent and Paul Lukas are no better, we still feel that the root of all evil in this case sprouted back in the story department presided over by Charles Bennett, Ernest Vajda and James Edward Grant. Though the plot they whipped up probably is no more fantastic than some of the things happening in the world today it does not rouse either one's imagination or emotions ... 'They Dare Not Love' is vapid fare."[5]


  1. ^ "They Dare Not Love". BFI. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  2. ^ Weaver, Tom (2003). Eye on Science Fiction: 20 Interviews with Classic SF and Horror Filmmakers. McFarland. pp. 229–232. ISBN 978-0-7864-3028-4. 
  3. ^ McGilligan, Patrick (1986). Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age. University of California Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-520-05689-3. 
  4. ^ "They Dare Not Love (1941) - Notes". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  5. ^ Pryor, Thomas M. (May 16, 1941). "They Dare Not Love – At Loew's State". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 

External links[edit]