6.8/10
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21 user 7 critic

Ah Wilderness! (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | April 1936 (Japan)
Story of small-town life in turn-of-the-century America, and a young boy's problems facing adolescence.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Frances Goodrich (screen play), Albert Hackett (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Sid Miller
Lionel Barrymore ... Nat Miller
Aline MacMahon ... Aunt Lily
Eric Linden ... Richard Miller
Cecilia Parker ... Muriel McComber
Spring Byington ... Essie Miller
Mickey Rooney ... Tommy Miller
Charley Grapewin ... Dave McComber (as Charles Grapewin)
Frank Albertson ... Arthur Miller
Edward J. Nugent ... Wint Selby (as Edward Nugent)
Bonita Granville ... Mildred Miller
Helen Flint ... Belle
Helen Freeman Helen Freeman ... Miss Hawley
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Storyline

Young idealist Richard Miller is selected as valedictorian for his New England high school commencement class of 1906 and intends to inject modern anti-capitalistic ideas into his speech. His father, Nat Miller, accidentally learns of it and interrupts Richard's speech before he can make a fool of himself. The small town later celebrates the Fourth of July with customary fireworks, picnics and the like, with Richard spending time with his girl, Muriel McComber, who promises she will allow him to kiss her one day. When Richard sends poems of love to Muriel, quoting the likes of Omar Khayyám and Swinburne, her father prevents her from ever seeing him again and forces her to write a letter denouncing him. Heartbroken, Richard drowns his sorrow in a local bar, drinking and smoking with a vamp called Belle, and comes home drunk. Alcoholic uncle Sid, who is used to the effects of liquor, nurses Richard back to sobriety, but Richard still must face the uncertain punishment of his father as ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The play that startled the nation!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1936 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ayer como hoy See more »

Filming Locations:

Grafton, Massachusetts, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on playwright Eugene O'Neill's only comedy. See more »

Goofs

Belle's mole on her cheek/upper lip disappears halfway through her scene, then reappears later. See more »

Quotes

Essie: [as Richard comes home as in a trance and goes upstairs without saying anything] You don't suppose he's been...
Nat: No, that's love, not liquor.
See more »

Connections

Version of Zingend in de wildernis (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music from "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith
Played during the Fourth of July celebration
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In a word, enchanting
4 April 2012 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

MGM's four big movies of 1935 were "Mutiny on the Bounty," "A Tale of Two Cities," "David Copperfield," and this one. It's the quietest of the four but to me the most impressive, a distillation of Eugene O'Neill's memory play (not his childhood, he said, but his childhood as he wished it were) that's bathed in nostalgia that's more potent and poignant than ever. Screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett get it past the Hays Office without really whitewashing its racier aspects (and Helen Flint's superb as the floozie who nearly corrupts our hero), and Eric Linden, who's entirely up to it, never again had this good a part. Top-billed Wallace Beery perhaps overdoes his drunken- charmer shtick, but Lionel Barrymore nicely underplays opposite him, and Aline MacMahon, always perfection, has one of her best roles--watch her reactions, how she plays love, disgust, and pity simultaneously. The rest of the family--Spring Byington, Mickey Rooney, Frank Albertson, Bonita Granville--are all exactly right. The MGM engineering--always-appropriate music, photography, costumes--helps rather than standardizes the material, the pacing's beautiful, and the warmth is unforced. You can weep at it and not feel like you're being manipulated.


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