|Directed by||George Cukor|
|Written by||Jane Murfin|
by Lucia Bronder
|Produced by||David O. Selznick|
|Starring|| Constance Bennett |
|Edited by||George Hively|
|Music by|| Harry Akst |
Nacio Herb Brown
|Distributed by||RKO Pathé|
Rockabye is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film starring Constance Bennett, with Joel McCrea and Paul Lukas. The final version was directed by George Cukor after studio executives decided that the original film as directed by George Fitzmaurice was unreleasable.The screenplay by Jane Murfin is based on an unpublished play written by Lucia Bronder, based on her original short story.
When stage actress Judy Carroll testifies on behalf of her former lover, accused embezzler Al Howard, she loses custody of Elizabeth, an orphan she had planned to adopt. Her devoted manager Antonie "Tony" de Sola urges her to travel to Europe with her alcoholic mother Snooks to alleviate her emotional pain. While there she reads a play titled Rockabye, whose plot eerily resembles recent events in her life. Despite Tony's qualms, she is determined to star in a Broadway production.
Playwright Jacob Van Riker Pell is certain the sophisticated Judy will be unable to portray his heroine, a tough girl from Second Avenue, until she confesses that she was raised there herself. The two hit it off, and Judy convinces Tony to produce the play. On the verge of divorce, Jake proposes he and Judy wed as soon as he is free.
Jake fails to appear at the opening night party for Rockabye. His mother tells Judy that her daughter-in-law has just had a baby; she asks Judy to forget her son. When Jake finally arrives and assures her he still wants to marry her, Judy insists he return to his wife and newborn child. Devastated, she is comforted by Tony, who finally reveals his feelings for her.
RKO purchased the rights to the play from Gloria Swanson and hired George Fitzmaurice to direct the film adaptation. Anxious to accommodate exhibitors who were awaiting a new Constance Bennett film, the studio rushed the script into production with Phillips Holmes as the male lead. When the completed film was shown to executives, they declared it unreleasable and called in George Cukor to salvage it. The new director replaced Holmes with Joel McCrea and Laura Hope Crews, in the role of Judy's mother, with Jobyna Howland, reshot all their characters' scenes, and re-edited the balance of the film.
The New York Times observed, "There are tears enough in Rockabye to drown a plot, a circumstance which is a form of mercy in the case of this particular plot . . . As for the performance of Miss Bennett, a conservative opinion would be that she is a better actress than Rockabye makes her seem . . . Joel McCrea as the young playwright is better than the lines he has to recite."
Although the reviews were poor, “Rockabye performed well at the box office, actually grossing slightly more than What Price Hollywood? (a “runaway box office hit”) in its first weeks of distribution, according to RKO records.”
Joel Albert McCrea was an American actor whose career spanned a wide variety of genres over almost five decades, including comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns, for which he became best known.
Constance Campbell Bennett was an American stage, film, radio and television actress and producer. She was a major Hollywood star during the 1920s and 1930s and for a time during the early 1930s, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. Bennett frequently played society women, focusing on melodramas in the early 1930s and then taking more comedic roles in the late 1930s and 1940s. She is best remembered for her leading roles in What Price Hollywood? (1932), Bed of Roses (1933), Topper (1937), Topper Takes a Trip (1938), and had a prominent supporting role in Greta Garbo's last film, Two-Faced Woman (1941).
Little Women is a 1933 American pre-Code drama film, directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Frances Dee and Jean Parker. The screenplay, by Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman, is based on the 1868-69 two-volume novel of the same name, by Louisa May Alcott.
It Should Happen to You is a 1954 American romantic comedy film starring Judy Holliday, Peter Lawford and Jack Lemmon; it was Lemmon's first major film appearance. The film was directed by George Cukor, and partly filmed on location in New York City. Screenwriter Garson Kanin originally intended the script as a vehicle for Danny Kaye, but Kanin's wife, Ruth Gordon, suggested casting Judy Holliday instead. The title was initially A Name for Herself.
What Price Hollywood? is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film directed by George Cukor and starring Constance Bennett with Lowell Sherman. The screenplay by Gene Fowler, Rowland Brown, Jane Murfin and Ben Markson is based on a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns and Louis Stevens. The supporting cast features Neil Hamilton, Gregory Ratoff, Brooks Benedict, Louise Beavers and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson.
Bed of Roses (1933) is a pre-Code romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Gregory La Cava and starring Constance Bennett. The picture was released by RKO Radio Pictures with a supporting cast featuring Joel McCrea and Pert Kelton.
Carefree is a 1938 musical film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. With a plot similar to screwball comedies of the period, Carefree is the shortest of the Astaire-Rogers films, featuring only four musical numbers. Carefree is often remembered as the film in which Astaire and Rogers shared a long on-screen kiss at the conclusion of their dance to "I Used to Be Color Blind," all previous kisses having been either quick pecks or simply implied.
Two-Faced Woman is a 1941 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Greta Garbo in her final film role, Melvyn Douglas, Constance Bennett, and Roland Young. The movie was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Rafter Romance is an American 1933 pre-Code romantic comedy film directed by William A. Seiter and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film, which was based on the 1932 novel of the same name by John Wells, stars Ginger Rogers, Norman Foster and George Sidney, and features Robert Benchley, Laura Hope Crews and Guinn Williams.
The Easiest Way is a 1931 American pre-Code MGM drama film directed by Jack Conway. Adapted from the 1909 play of the same name written by Eugene Walter and directed by David Belasco, the film stars Constance Bennett, Adolphe Menjou, Robert Montgomery, Marjorie Rambeau, Anita Page, and Clark Gable
The Richest Girl in the World is a 1934 romantic comedy film directed by William A. Seiter and starring Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea. Norman Krasna was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story. It was remade in 1944 as Bride by Mistake with Laraine Day and Alan Marshal.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a 1938 American drama film produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Norman Taurog who had previously directed Huckleberry Finn (1931) with Jackie Coogan and Junior Durkin. The film starred Tommy Kelly in the title role, with Jackie Moran and Ann Gillis. The screenplay by John V. A. Weaver was based on the classic 1876 novel of the same name by Mark Twain. The movie was the first film version of the novel to be made in color.
Primrose Path is a 1940 film about a young woman determined not to follow the profession of her mother and grandmother, prostitution. It stars Ginger Rogers and Joel McCrea. The film was the novel February Hill by Victoria Lincoln.
Girls About Town is a 1931 American pre-Code romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Kay Francis and Joel McCrea.
Our Betters is a 1933 American pre-Code satirical comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Constance Bennett, Anita Louise and Gilbert Roland. The screenplay by Jane Murfin and Harry Wagstaff Gribble is based on the 1917 play of the same title by Somerset Maugham. Tommy Atkins worked as assistant director, while the sets were designed by the art director Van Nest Polglase.
Jobyna Howland was an American stage and screen actress.
Our Little Girl is a 1935 American drama, in which Shirley Temple and Joel McCrea play the leading roles. The film was the final work of the veteran director, John S. Robertson.
The Common Law is a 1931 American pre-Code romantic drama film, directed by Paul L. Stein and produced by Charles R. Rogers. Based on Robert W. Chambers' 1911 novel of the same name, this was the third time the book was made into a film, and the first during the talking film era. The sexual drama stars Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea in the title roles. It was received well both at the box office and by film critics, becoming one of RKO's most financially successful films of the year.
Born to Love is a 1931 American pre-Code melodrama film, directed by Paul L. Stein from an original screenplay by Ernest Pascal. It starred Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea and Paul Cavanagh in a lovers' triangle set in London during World War I. It was only the second film produced by RKO Pathé after the merger of the two studios, and according to RKO records, it made a profit of $90,000.
Chance at Heaven is a 1933 American pre-Code drama film directed by William A. Seiter and written by Julien Josephson and Sarah Y. Mason based on a 1932 short story of the same name by Vina Delmar. The film stars Ginger Rogers, Joel McCrea, Marian Nixon, Andy Devine and Lucien Littlefield. It was released on October 27, 1933 by RKO Pictures.