The Silver Cord


1h 14m 1933
The Silver Cord

Brief Synopsis

A domineering matriarch is less than happy when her son brings home his new bride. She immediately sets to work at sabotaging their marriage as well as the engagement of her younger and weaker son.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
May 19, 1933
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 4 May 1933
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Silver Cord by Sidney Howard, as produced by The Theatre Guild, Inc. (New York, 20 Dec 1926).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

When budding architect Dave Phelps receives word about a post in New York, he and his new wife Christina, a research biologist who has been offered a job at the Rockefeller Institute, leave Heidelberg and return to the United States. Before going to New York, the newlyweds visit Dave's mother, his brother Robert and Robert's fiancée Hester in the country. Although she has never met Christina, Mrs. Phelps all but ignores her daughter-in-law and showers gushing affection on Dave, calling him her "big boy." Later, after insisting that Dave take the room next to hers, alone, Mrs. Phelps has a private discussion with Christina in which she accuses her of selfishly taking Dave away to further her own questionable career. A jealous Mrs. Phelps then convinces Robert that he and Hester are not truly in love and talks him into breaking off their engagement. After she hears Hester's hysterical warnings about Mrs. Phelps, Christina, who has announced that she is pregnant, begins to worry about the depth of her husband's commitment to their marriage. Dave, torn between his desire for Christina and his simple love for his manipulative mother, refuses Christina's pleas to leave immediately for New York, but insists that he still loves her. However, after Hester, crazed with humiliation, runs from the house and falls into a frozen pond, nearly drowning, Christina gives Dave an ultimatum either to stay with his mother or leave with her that morning. Before departing, Christina confronts Mrs. Phelps, accusing her of using her sons as a romantic substitute for her dead husband. Mrs. Phelps, stubbornly defends her "right" to love her sons and orders Dave to stay with her. Although he first gives in to his mother's demands, Dave finally asserts himself and runs to Christina's side.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
May 19, 1933
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 4 May 1933
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Silver Cord by Sidney Howard, as produced by The Theatre Guild, Inc. (New York, 20 Dec 1926).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Laura Hope Crews played the part of Mrs. Phelps on stage, and John Cromwell directed the original Broadway production. According to reviews, the film script toned down the more overtly sexual aspects of the play. Background shots for the production were taken in Wrightwood, CA, according to International Photographer. Joel McCrea and Frances Dee, who was borrowed from Paramount, appeared together for the first time in The Silver Cord and married shortly after the production; they remained married until McCrea's death in 1990. George Meeker was identified in a production still from the picture, but does not appear in the released film.