- Anthony Adverse
Infobox Film | name = Anthony Adverse
image_size = 200px
caption = Original poster
Olivia de Havilland
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
July 29, 1936
(Los Angeles premiere)
August 29, 1936
runtime = 141 min
language = English
country = USA
imdb_id = 0027300
"Anthony Adverse" is a 1936 American
drama filmdirected by Mervyn LeRoy. The screenplayby Sheridan Gibney was based on the sprawling 1,224-page novel of the same title by Hervey Allen. Neither Michael Curtiz, who assisted with the direction, nor Milton Krims, who contributed to the script, received on-screen credit for their work.
The plot of the epic
costume dramafollows the globe-trotting adventures of the title character, the illegitimate offspring of Maria Bonnyfeather, the wife of ailing middle-aged nobleman Marquis Don Luis, and Denis Moore. When he learns of his wife's affair, Don Luis challenges her lover to a duel. Denis is killed, and shortly thereafter Maria dies in childbirth. Don Luis leaves the infant at a convent, where the nuns christen him Anthony. Ten years later, the child is apprenticed to wealthy merchant John Bonnyfeather, his real grandfather, who discovers his relationship to the boy but keeps it a secret from him. He gives the boy the surname Adverse in acknowledgement of the difficult life he has led.
As an adult, Anthony falls in love with Angela Giuseppe, the cook's daughter, and the couple weds. Soon after the ceremony, Anthony departs for
Havanato save Bonnyfeather's fortune. The note Anthony leaves her is blown away and she doesn't follow after him. Instead, assuming he has abandoned her, she pursues a career as an operasinger. Anthony leaves Cubafor Africa, where he becomes corrupted by his involvement with the slave trade. He is redeemed by his friendship with Brother François, and following the friar's death he returns to Italyto find Bonnyfeather has died and his housekeeper, Faith Paleologus (now married to Don Luis), will inherit the man's estate fortune unless Anthony goes to Paristo claim his inheritance.
In Paris, Anthony is reunited with his friend, prominent banker Vincent Nolte, whom he saves from
bankruptcyby giving him his fortune. Through the intercession of impressarioDebrulle, Anthony finds Angela and discovers she bore him a son. She fails to reveal she is Mlle. Georges, a famous opera star and the mistress of Napoleon Bonaparte. When Anthony learns her secret, he departs for America with his son in search of a better life.
Fredric March..... Anthony Adverse
Olivia de Havilland..... Angela Giuseppe
*Donald Woods ..... Vincent Nolte
Anita Louise..... Maria
Edmund Gwenn..... John Bonnyfeather
Claude Rains..... Marquis Don Luis
Gale Sondergaard..... Faith Paleologus
Akim Tamiroff..... Carlo Cibo
Pedro De Cordoba..... Brother François
Louis Hayward..... Denis Moore
Ralph Morgan..... Debrulle
*Billy Mauch ..... Anthony Adverse (age 10)
Principal production credits
Assistant Director..... William H. Cannon
*Original Music .....
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Music supervision..... Leo F. Forbstein
Cinematography..... Tony Gaudio
*Art Direction ..... Anton Grot
Costume Design..... Milo Anderson
Awards and nominations
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress(Gale Sondergaard, winner)
Academy Award for Best Cinematography(winner)
*Academy Award for Best Film Editing (winner)
*Academy Award for Best Musical Scoring (Leo F. Forbstein, winner)
Academy Award for Best Assistant Director(nominee)
Academy Award for Best Art Direction(nominee)
Academy Award for Best Picture(nominee)
In his review in the "
New York Times", Frank S. Nugent described the film as "a bulky, rambling and indecisive photoplay which has not merely taken liberties with the letter of the original but with its spirit . . . For all its sprawling length, [the novel] was cohesive and well rounded. Most of its picaresque quality has been lost in the screen version; its philosophy is vague, its characterization blurred and its story so loosely knit and episodic that its telling seems interminable." [ [http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9906EFDF1F3FEE3BBC4F51DFBE66838D629EDE "New York Times" review] ]
The film was named one of the
National Board of Review's Top Ten pictures of the year and ranked eighth in the " Film Daily" critics' poll [ [http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/title.jsp?stid=1857&category=overview "Anthony Adverse" at Turner Classic Movies] ] .
Historian Bob Packett recommended this film in January 2008 for its scene in which a smaller vessel defeats a larger one through exploitation of the tactics of war at sea.
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