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The World Moves On (1934)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 31 August 1934 (USA)
Richard Girard is part of a New Orleans family working closely with the English Warburtons. When Richard meets Mary Warburton she is engaged to Erik von Gerardt. He does wed Mary but their time in America is financially difficult.


John Ford


Reginald Berkeley (screenplay), Reginald Berkeley (story)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Madeleine Carroll ... Mrs. Warburton, 1825 / Mary Warburton Girard, 1914
Franchot Tone ... Richard Girard - 1825 / Richard Girard - 1914
Reginald Denny ... Erik von Gerhardt
Sig Ruman ... Baron von Gerhardt (as Siegfried Rumann)
Louise Dresser ... Baroness von Gerhardt
Raul Roulien ... Carlos Girard (1825) / Henri Girard (1914)
Stepin Fetchit ... Dixie
Lumsden Hare ... Gabriel Warburton (1825) / Sir John Warburton (1914)
Dudley Digges ... Mr. Manning
Frank Melton ... John Girard (1825)
Brenda Fowler Brenda Fowler ... Madame Agnes Girard (1825)
Russell Simpson ... Notary (1825)
Walter McGrail ... The Duallist (1825)
Marcelle Corday ... Madame Girard II (1914)
Charles Bastin Charles Bastin ... Jacques Girard, the Boy (1914)


Richard Girard is part of a New Orleans family working closely with the English Warburtons. When Richard meets Mary Warburton she is engaged to Erik von Gerardt. He does wed Mary but their time in America is financially difficult.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »





English | French | German

Release Date:

31 August 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paz en la Tierra See more »


Box Office


$727,400 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to Ford, he didn't like the script and was told by the producer to film it exactly as written with no changes to the script. Ford turned the lengthy and unwieldy finished product over to the producer and told him to edit it. See more »


Featured in Directed by John Ford (1971) See more »


Ave Maria
Music by Charles Gounod
Played and sung in church
See more »

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User Reviews

The Rothschilds of Cotton
14 January 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For a John Ford film this one is usually not mentioned in any retrospectives I know concerning his career. For a film that is internationalistic in scope it gets sadly neglected.

Another reviewer compared The World Moves On to Cavalcade which came out a year earlier. For me this film most closely resembled The House Of Rothschild only instead of money the commodity is cotton and in the 19th century. In some places cotton was considered a kind of currency like in the American south. In 1825 the American family Girard merges with the British Warburtons and then has other sons settle in France and Germany just like Nathan Rothschild's kids as early proponents of globalism.

After an 1825 prologue the action skips to 1914 where Sig Ruman of the German branch is hosting a big blowout with nary a thought to a possible war breaking out. War and the Roaring 20s type materialistic peace that followed are what is dealt with.

By the way also watching this film I did wonder just how the combine managed to weather the American Civil War. But that was never mentioned.

The film focuses on Franchot Tone of the American branch and Madeleine Carroll of the English Warburtons. They marry and she jilts Reginald Denny of the German branch in the process. Then Tone almost on a lark enlists in the French Army. The family with losses both financial and personal carries on though.

Shoehorned into the film is Stepin Fetchit in a real travesty of a role. He's the family retainer as he usually is. Here he spots some French Senegalese African soldiers in dress uniforms and he thinks it's a lodge and wants to join. Of course he's eagerly recruited. Today's viewers might not realize but the popular Amos N' Andy radio show had their protagonists as members of the Mystic Knights Of The Sea Lodge. That reference to a lodge would not have been lost on a 1934 viewer. Stepin Fetchit's role adds zero to the story and it's more offensive than usual.

Best part of The World Moves On are the battle scenes in World War I. They are not glamorized in any way, hardly like one of Ford's cavalry epics.

I rate The World Moves On as low as I do because of Stepin Fetchit. Had he not been there this would far higher on John Ford's list of films for quality.

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