The Dark Angel (1935 film)

Last updated
The Dark Angel
Poster of the movie The Dark Angel.jpg
Directed by Sidney A. Franklin
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn
Written by Guy Bolton (play)
Lillian Hellman
Mordaunt Shairp
Starring Fredric March
Merle Oberon
Herbert Marshall
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Gregg Toland
Edited by Sherman Todd
Production
company
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • September 8, 1935 (1935-09-08)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$1 million [1]

The Dark Angel is a 1935 film which tells the story of three childhood friends, two male, one female. When the woman chooses one of the men to marry, the other, jealous, sends his rival off into a dangerous situation during wartime. The film stars Fredric March, Merle Oberon, and Herbert Marshall.

Contents

The movie was adapted by Lillian Hellman and Mordaunt Shairp from the play by Guy Bolton. It was directed by Sidney Franklin, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, and released by United Artists. A silent film version of the same play, also produced by Goldwyn, was released in 1925 and is now a lost film.

It won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction, and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Merle Oberon) and Best Sound, Recording (Thomas T. Moulton). [2] [3]

Plot

Kitty Vane, Alan Trent, and Gerald Shannon have been inseparable friends since childhood. Both Alan and Gerald are in love with Kitty, who in turn has been infatuated with Alan her entire life.

Gerald and Alan are drafted into World War I. They return home for ten days, during which time Alan proposes to Kitty and she joyously accepts. Despite his own love for Kitty, Gerald gives the couple his blessing. However, the newly engaged couple's happiness is cut short when Gerald and Alan are ordered back into service the very next day. Kitty and Alan search for somebody to marry them, but nobody is available. They decide they do not need to officially marry, and agree to spend the night together before Alan must return to the war.

Alan and Kitty book a room in an inn. Kitty's cousin Lawrence sees Alan taking champagne and flowers up the room and works out that Alan has a woman in his room, unaware that it is Kitty. The next day, Lawrence teases Alan about the previous night. Gerald misunderstands and believes Alan has cheated on Kitty. When Gerald confronts him, Alan does not reveal he in fact spent the evening with Kitty, so as to protect her reputation.

Gerald, furious for Kitty's sake, refuses to grant Alan leave so he can return home and marry Kitty properly. Instead, Gerald inadvertently pressures Alan to join a dangerous mission. Alan nobley volunteers.

Months later and Gerald returns home to Kitty. They both mourn the death of Alan, believed to be killed in an explosion. Together they realise Gerald's misunderstanding and conclude that they are both, in a way, to be blamed for Alan's death. Both consumed with grief, they end up growing closer and developing feelings for one another.

Meanwhile, it is revealed that Alan did not die. He lost his eyesight and was cared for in a German hospital, adopting the name of Roger Crane so that his family could not locate him. A doctor, George Barton, finds a photograph of Alan, Kitty and Gerald and realises that Alan has changed his name to escape his past. George allows "Roger" to leave.

Alan plans to return to Kitty, but has a change of mind at the last minute when he believes people will pity Kitty and that she will only care for him out of duty. He leaves town and stays in an inn. He becomes friendly with the innkeeper's children, Betty, Joe and Ginger. Inspired by his friendship with them, he begins to write a series of successful children's books, and is able to move into his own home with a private secretary.

George Barton visits Alan, still living as "Roger", and sees in the paper a photograph of Kitty and Gerald with the announcement that they are to be married. Recognising them as the couple from Alan's photograph and realising that Alan is still in love with Kitty, George contacts them. Gerald at first does not recognise the name Roger Crane, but works out who he really is. Gerald and Kitty go to visit Alan, who attempts to conceal his blindness from them. At first, they do not realise he cannot see, causing Kitty to believe Alan has distanced himself from her and no longer loves her. She wishes to part as friends and holds her hand out to him, but he cannot see and she believes he has rejected her. Gerald, however, realises the truth and encourages Kitty to go back into the house. Alan, hearing footsteps, believes his secretary is in the room and begins talking to her, causing Kitty to realise Alan is blind. She does not care and hurries over to Alan, where they finally profess their love for each other. Gerald leaves them to reunite.

Cast

Reception

It was the 12th most popular film at the British box office in 1935–36. [4]

AwardYearWorkCategoryResultRef(s)
Academy Awards 1936 The Dark Angel Best Actress Nominated [5]

Proposed Remake

In 1962 Ross Hunter announced he would remake the film with Rock Hudson in the lead from a script by John Lee Mahin. The action would be relocated to Japan in the post Korean War period. [6] Hunter says he paid $100,000 for the rights and only used the last ten minutes of the film. [7]

However the film was not made.

Related Research Articles

Merle Oberon British actress (1911-1979)

Merle Oberon was an Indian-born British actress who began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). After her success in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), she travelled to the United States to make films for Samuel Goldwyn. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Dark Angel (1935). A traffic collision in 1937 caused facial injuries that could have ended her career, but she recovered and remained active in film and television until 1973.

Ann Sheridan American actress and singer

Clara Lou "Ann" Sheridan was an American actress and singer. She is best known for her roles in the films San Quentin (1937), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), They Drive by Night (1940), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Kings Row (1942), Nora Prentiss (1947), and I Was a Male War Bride (1949).

<i>Lydia</i> (film) 1941 American drama film directed by Julien Duvivier

Lydia is a 1941 drama film, directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Merle Oberon as Lydia MacMillan, a woman whose life is seen from her spoiled, immature youth through bitter and resentful middle years, until at last she is old and accepting. The supporting cast features Joseph Cotten, Edna May Oliver and George Reeves. The picture is a remake of Duvivier's Un carnet de bal (1937), which starred Marie Bell as the leading character.

J. Farrell MacDonald American actor and director

John Farrell MacDonald was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads. He appeared in over 325 films over a 41-year career from 1911 to 1951, and directed forty-four silent films from 1912 to 1917.

John Stuart (actor) Scottish actor

John Stuart, was a Scottish actor, and a very popular leading man in British silent films in the 1920s. He appeared in three films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Theodore von Eltz American actor

Theodore von Eltz was an American film actor. He appeared in more than 200 films between 1915 and 1957. He was the father of actress Lori March.

<i>Service for Ladies</i> 1932 film

Service for Ladies is a 1932 British comedy film, the second based on the novel The Head Waiter by Ernest Vajda. The film was directed by Alexander Korda and starred Leslie Howard.

Richard Tucker (actor) American actor

Richard Tucker was an American actor. Tucker was born in Brooklyn, New York. Appearing in 266 films between 1911 and 1940, he was the first official member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and a founding member of SAG's Board of Directors. Tucker died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles from a heart attack. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in an unmarked niche in Great Mausoleum, Columbarium of Faith.

<i>Every Girl Should Be Married</i> 1948 film by Don Hartman

Every Girl Should Be Married is a 1948 American romantic comedy film directed by Don Hartman and starring Cary Grant, Betsy Drake and Franchot Tone. Grant and Drake married a year after the film's release.

<i>The Lodger</i> (1944 film) 1944 film by John Brahm

The Lodger is a 1944 horror film about Jack the Ripper, based on the novel of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes. It stars Merle Oberon, George Sanders, and Laird Cregar, features Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and was directed by John Brahm from a screenplay by Barré Lyndon.

Crauford Kent English actor

Crauford Kent was an English-born character film actor, in the United States. He has also been credited as Craufurd Kent and Crawford Kent.

<i>Shopworn</i> 1932 film

Shopworn is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Nick Grinde and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Regis Toomey. Written by Jo Swerling and Robert Riskin, based on a story by Sarah Y. Mason, the film is about a poor hardworking waitress who meets and falls in love with a wealthy college student. His mother objects to the union and frames the waitress for a crime she did not commit. After serving her time, the waitress enters show business and becomes a star.

<i>Interval</i> (film) 1973 film by Daniel Mann

Interval is a 1973 romantic drama film starring Merle Oberon in her final performance. Oberon also produced the movie, and fell in love with her co-star in it, Robert Wolders, divorcing her husband to marry Wolders in 1975.

<i>Man of the World</i> (film) 1931 film

Man of the World is a 1931 American pre-Code romantic drama directed by Richard Wallace and starring William Powell, Carole Lombard, and Wynne Gibson.

Over the Moon is a 1939 British Technicolor comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Merle Oberon, Rex Harrison, Ursula Jeans and Herbert Lomas.

<i>Merrily We Go to Hell</i> 1932 film

Merrily We Go to Hell is a 1932 pre-Code film directed by Dorothy Arzner, and starring Fredric March and Sylvia Sidney. Its title is an example of the sensationalistic titles that were common in the pre-Code era. Many newspapers refused to publicize the film because of its racy title. The title is a line March's character says while making a toast.

<i>The Dark Angel</i> (1925 film) 1925 film

The Dark Angel is a 1925 American silent drama film, based on the play The Dark Angel, a Play of Yesterday and To-day by H. B. Trevelyan, released by First National Pictures, and starring Ronald Colman, Vilma Bánky, and Wyndham Standing.

<i>First Comes Courage</i> 1943 film by Dorothy Arzner, Charles Vidor

First Comes Courage is a 1943 American war film, the final film directed by Dorothy Arzner, one of the few female directors in Hollywood at the time. The film was based on the 1943 novel Commandos by Elliott Arnold, adapted by George Sklar, with a screenplay by Melvin Levy and Lewis Meltzer. It stars Merle Oberon and Brian Aherne.

<i>Affectionately Yours</i> 1941 film

Affectionately Yours is a 1941 American romantic comedy film directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring Merle Oberon, Dennis Morgan, and Rita Hayworth.

Carol Hughes (actress)

Carol Hughes was an American actress. She is best remembered for her leading roles opposite Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, and for her role as Dale Arden in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).

References

  1. "FILM UNITS WILL EXPAND: Outlay for Year $25,000,000 Production Plans of United Artists and Reliance Pictures Disclosed". Los Angeles Times. Aug 21, 1935. p. A1.
  2. "The 8th Academy Awards (1936) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  3. "The Dark Angel". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  4. "The Film Business in the United States and Britain during the 1930s" by John Sedgwick and Michael Pokorny, The Economic History ReviewNew Series, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp.97
  5. "1936 | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". oscars.org. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  6. HOWARD THOMPSON (May 16, 1962). "FILMMAKER TALKS ABOUT 5 PROJECTS: Hunter, Here in Visit, Tells of MacDonald-Eddy Plan 'Tammy Takes Over' Is Next Joanne Woodward to Star British Film Opens Today 7 Vie for Golden Laurel Albert Lamorisse Visits". New York Times. p. 33.
  7. ARKADIN. "Film Clips". Sight and Sound. 32 (3 (Summer 1963)). London. p. 140.