Forgotten Faces


1h 12m 1936

Brief Synopsis

In London, August 1914, Austrian star Elsa Duranyi (Gertrude Michael) and English matinee idol Alan Barclay (Herbert Marshall) are in love and plan an immediate marriage. But the War comes and Elsa mysteriously disappears. Alan's ease in speaking German results in his appointment to the British Intelligence and, to aid his use as a spy, they announce he was killed in action. He takes the name and personality of "shell-shocked" Hans Teller, a German prisoner, and is sent into Germany on an exchange of prisoners. Elsa, now a spy in the service of the Fatherland, is in Monte Carlo, where Allied officers on leave can be tempted into revealing war secrets. In Germany, Alan, posing as Teller, is listed as unfit for service, contacts Carl Schrottle (Rod LaRocque), another British agent. They are to locate the German "Big Bertha," the long-range gun bombarding Paris. They are successful and the gun is destroyed. Elsa is recalled and given the assignment of locating the British spy organization and its members. Through her surveillance of Carl, she meets Hans Teller and recognizes him as Alan, but doesn't let on. Alone, she agrees to flee to Holland with him but her superior officer, Ludwig (Lionel Atwill), is not fooled and is in pursuit.

Film Details

Also Known As
Heliotrope, Something to Live For
Release Date
May 15, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "A Whiff of Heliotrope" by Richard Washburn Child in Hearst's (Nov 1919).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Superstitious gambling house owner Harry Ashton relies on sprigs of heliotrope to bring him luck, which disgusts his philandering wife Cleo. When Harry finds Cleo with another man, he shoots him, and takes his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Sally to his best friend, policeman Sergeant Johnny Donovan, and asks him to find new parents for her. Harry turns himself in and is sentenced to life imprisonment. Seventeen years later, Cleo is working in a burlesque show that may close due to insufficient funds, so she plans to blackmail Sally's family, the McBrides, for the money. Donovan finds out and warns Harry, who promises his warden that he will use his parole time to ensure Sally's safety without harming Cleo. Harry trades places with the McBride butler, and begins to intimidate Cleo by leaving sprigs of heliotrope wherever she goes. When he finds a letter to McBride from Cleo asking for an appointment, he makes the appointment with her, intending to dissuade her from her plan. Instead, Cleo shoots Harry with a gun that he had sent her in hopes of scaring her. When Donovan, who was with Harry at the time, goes after her, Cleo accidentally leaps out of a balcony and falls to her death. Harry dies, never having revealed Sally's heritage to her, and she is able to continue with her wedding plans without interference.

Film Details

Also Known As
Heliotrope, Something to Live For
Release Date
May 15, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "A Whiff of Heliotrope" by Richard Washburn Child in Hearst's (Nov 1919).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Information in the Paramount script files at the AMPAS Library reveals that Crane Wilbur wrote a treatment in April 1933. His contribution to the final film has not been determined. The pre-release titles were Heliotrope and Something to Live For. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Marsha Hunt, Brooks Benedict and Tom Wilson in the cast. Forgotten Faces was previously made by Paramount in 1928, starring Clive Brook, Mary Brian and Baclanova (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.1921).