Hearts Divided


1h 27m 1936
Hearts Divided

Brief Synopsis

Napoleon's younger brother falls for a girl from Baltimore.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Jun 20, 1936
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jun 1936
Production Company
First National Productions Corp.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Glorious Betsy by Rida Johnson Young (New York, 7 Sep 1908).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte is negotiating with the United States for the sale of the Louisiana territory. He sends his brother Jerome to America as his ambassador. Arriving incognito at the races in Baltimore, Jerome meets Betsey Patterson, the attractive daughter of Charles Patterson, one of the negotiators. Still in disguise, he applies for the job of her French tutor, and the two fall in love. Jerome, however, is fired from his tutoring job for defending Napoleon too vigorously. After the Louisana purchase is completed, Jerome returns to the Patterson household as himself. The Pattersons are slightly embarrassed, but welcome him. Some time later, Betsey and Jerome announce their engagement, to the dismay of Jerome's counselors, who have received word that Napoleon wants Jerome to return to France to marry the Princess of Wurtemberg, a political alliance that will help Napoleon in the war he is fighting against England. Jerome refuses and sets sail for France with Betsey, intending to marry her once they land, but Napoleon meets the ship and, speaking privately to Betsey, asks her to give Jerome up for the good of France. At first, she will not agree, but finally she leaves without saying goodbye to Jerome. She resigns herself to a lonely life without Jerome. He, however, cannot do without her and follows her back to America.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Jun 20, 1936
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jun 1936
Production Company
First National Productions Corp.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Glorious Betsy by Rida Johnson Young (New York, 7 Sep 1908).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Articles

Hearts Divided


Hearts Divided (1936) was the second film Marion Davies' made at Warner Bros. after a decade at MGM. It was also her second film with favorite leading man Dick Powell. Davies, who had first been teamed with Powell in Page Miss Glory (1935), requested him for her co-star in Hearts Divided. Rumor has it Davies developed a serious crush on Powell. But Powell, fearing career ending retribution from Davies' long time love, William Randolph Hearst, shied away from any relationship. But even those who knew them best were never sure about the Davies-Powell connection. June Allyson, who was married to Dick Powell from 1945 until his death in 1963, later said, "he might have had an affair with her years before he knew me...what happened before me was none of my business and I never asked too many questions."

The film Hearts Divided had been made once before in 1928 with Dolores Costello and Conrad Nagel. It was adapted from a stage play called Glorious Betty. But the actual plot of Hearts Divided is based on a true story. Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon and officer in the French Navy, was sent by his brother to the US as a good will ambassador in 1803. While in America, Jerome met and fell in love with the daughter of a Baltimore banker, Elizabeth Patterson. Jerome married Elizabeth against the wishes of his brother, only to have Napoleon annul the marriage three years later. Despite his having a child from the marriage to Elizabeth, Napoleon then forced Jerome to marry Katharina of Wurtemberg, making Jerome king of the conquered German territory of Westphalia.

Luckily, Hollywood treats the lovers Betsy and Jerome with a little more compassion. The couple is even granted a second chance at happiness by Claude Rains' Napoleon. And in real life, Davies and Powell's friendship would continue with Powell making a third film for Hearst's company (without Marion), the popular Shipmates Forever (1935).

Director: Frank Borzage
Producer: Harry Joe Brown, Marion Davies
Screenplay: Laird Doyle, Casey Robinson, Rida Johnson Young (play)
Cinematography: George J. Folsey
Music: Al Dubin, Harry Warren
Art Direction: Robert M. Hass
Cast: Marion Davies (Betsy Patterson), Dick Powell (Captain Jerome Bonaparte), Charles Ruggles (Senator Henry Ruggles), Claude Rains (Napoleon Bonaparte), Edward Everett Horton (Senator John Hathaway), Arthur Treacher (Sir Harry).
BW-76m.

by Stephanie Thames
Hearts Divided

Hearts Divided

Hearts Divided (1936) was the second film Marion Davies' made at Warner Bros. after a decade at MGM. It was also her second film with favorite leading man Dick Powell. Davies, who had first been teamed with Powell in Page Miss Glory (1935), requested him for her co-star in Hearts Divided. Rumor has it Davies developed a serious crush on Powell. But Powell, fearing career ending retribution from Davies' long time love, William Randolph Hearst, shied away from any relationship. But even those who knew them best were never sure about the Davies-Powell connection. June Allyson, who was married to Dick Powell from 1945 until his death in 1963, later said, "he might have had an affair with her years before he knew me...what happened before me was none of my business and I never asked too many questions." The film Hearts Divided had been made once before in 1928 with Dolores Costello and Conrad Nagel. It was adapted from a stage play called Glorious Betty. But the actual plot of Hearts Divided is based on a true story. Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon and officer in the French Navy, was sent by his brother to the US as a good will ambassador in 1803. While in America, Jerome met and fell in love with the daughter of a Baltimore banker, Elizabeth Patterson. Jerome married Elizabeth against the wishes of his brother, only to have Napoleon annul the marriage three years later. Despite his having a child from the marriage to Elizabeth, Napoleon then forced Jerome to marry Katharina of Wurtemberg, making Jerome king of the conquered German territory of Westphalia. Luckily, Hollywood treats the lovers Betsy and Jerome with a little more compassion. The couple is even granted a second chance at happiness by Claude Rains' Napoleon. And in real life, Davies and Powell's friendship would continue with Powell making a third film for Hearst's company (without Marion), the popular Shipmates Forever (1935). Director: Frank Borzage Producer: Harry Joe Brown, Marion Davies Screenplay: Laird Doyle, Casey Robinson, Rida Johnson Young (play) Cinematography: George J. Folsey Music: Al Dubin, Harry Warren Art Direction: Robert M. Hass Cast: Marion Davies (Betsy Patterson), Dick Powell (Captain Jerome Bonaparte), Charles Ruggles (Senator Henry Ruggles), Claude Rains (Napoleon Bonaparte), Edward Everett Horton (Senator John Hathaway), Arthur Treacher (Sir Harry). BW-76m. by Stephanie Thames

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Rida Johnson Young's play was based on the actual marriage between Napoleon's brother and Elizabeth Patterson in 1803. The marriage produced one son and was annulled by Napoleon's order in 1805. Jerome Bonaparte then married Princess Catherine of Wurtemberg and was made King of Westphalia. Eighteen minutes were cut from the film between its Hollywood preview and the New York opening. Modern sources add the following information: Dick Powell was cast on Marion Davies' request. The script was started by Casey Robinson in September 1934, prior to Cosmopolitan's arrival at Warner Bros., with Leslie Howard and Jean Muir to star. After ten days shooting, William R. Hearst ordered production cancelled and had the script rewritten by James K. McGuinness and Charles Lede4rer. Jean Negulesco also contributed to the script. Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed some of the music. Modern sources also note that at one time the film had the working title Glorious. The play had been filmed previously in 1928 under the title Glorious Betsy. This part-talkie film starred Dolores Costello and was directed by Alan Crosland (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2126).