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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 ... 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 »


Should She Desire Me Not
Written by Louis De Francesco
Played and sung at the party in 1825
Played on piano by Franchot Tone, who also recites the lyrics
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

The Blame Goes to Ford Here
11 February 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The World Moves On (1934)

** (out of 4)

Flat look at two families, the Warburtons and the Girards, who are bound by marriage in 1825 and form a business that places parts of the family in England, America and Germany. All is well until WWI breaks out and soon the families are torn on all issues. I've read numerous reports saying that director John Ford never cared for this film and rumor has it that Fox was really hounding him to film screenplays the way they were written and not to go so far off track. Rumor has it that Ford did exactly that here and turned in a pretty lifeless movie just to prove a point to the studio. Of course, this has never been proved to my knowledge but if you watch the film it's easy to see why this might be the case. I've seen dozens of films from the legendary director and there's no question that he's made some duds throughout but THE WORLD MOVES ON should have been a classic but the end result is so lifeless that you can't help but think there was something going on behind the scenes. Ford has always been great at showing patriotism but that's missing here and it plays an important part of the picture. There are many actions scenes scattered throughout but none of them contain any energy and they come across so flat that it seems like they just set the camera up and started shooting without trying to do anything special. This is especially true during some horrendous comedy moments with Stepin Fetchit, which are just so embarrassing that you really wonder what the director was thinking. I know Fetchit appeared in several Ford films and the image that he plays rubs a lot of people the wrong way but no matter how you view it the way the character here is used is just bad. Performances are pretty good from the leads (Franchot Tone, Madeleine Carroll, Reginald Denny) but they're certainly letdown by the direction. The look of the film is quite good and there's a very interesting story here but sadly it just never comes to life. I think with more care there's a classic movie here.

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