Grand Canary


1h 18m 1934

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 27, 1934
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Jul 1937
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.; Jesse L. Lasky Productions
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Grand Canary by A. J. Cronin (London and Boston, 1933).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Film Length
6,730ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Dr. Harvey Leith, deemed an inhuman murderer in the newspapers because three of his patients died after he tried an experimental serum, boards a freighter in Liverpool bound for the Canary Islands. Plagued by the memories of the surgery, Dr. Leith is weary and depressed and, when the ship's bar is closed to him, becomes annoyed and irritable. Suzan Tranter, who worked with Dr. Leith three years earlier during a diphtheria epidemic, is traveling with her brother Bobby to open a mission. When she attempts to console Dr. Leith, he remains aloof. After a few days of seclusion, the doctor meets Lady Mary Fielding, the wife of the richest rancher on Grand Canary Island, and they develop a friendship. He explains to her that enemies in his profession refused to allow him to use the serum until it was too late to save the patients; after the deaths, he says, the authorities swore that he used the serum without their knowledge. At Santa Cruz, Lady Fielding, realizing that she has fallen in love with Dr. Leith, decides that she cannot go back to her husband Michael after she sadly watches the doctor's ship leave the harbor to return to England. Dr. Leith, however, has been knocked out in a fight, and he awakens after the ship has departed. When he learns of a yellow fever epidemic, he goes to help with Suzan, who had jealously witnessed his interest in Lady Fielding. After Dr. Leith sets up operations at an old estate, Lady Fielding visits, but she arrives weak with the fever and collapses. Dr. Leith stays up with his unconscious love through many anxious nights and throws her husband out when he tries to take her home. After his serum takes effect on Lady Fielding, Dr. Leith finally goes to sleep, but he awakens to find that Suzan has allowed Fielding to take his wife away. After the disease is conquered in the native population, Suzan and Bobby, who earlier had fallen prey to the wiles of Lady Fielding's seductress friend, Elissa Baynham, open a welfare center. In England, Dr. Leith is honored by the medical society, and he receives a telegram from Lady Fielding that says she is happy for him.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 27, 1934
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Jul 1937
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.; Jesse L. Lasky Productions
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Grand Canary by A. J. Cronin (London and Boston, 1933).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Film Length
6,730ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Author A. J. Cronin was a Scottish novelist and physician. The novel was serialized in Good Housekeeping (Jan-June 1933). It is possible that two versions of the film were in circulation. New York Times, Variety and Film Daily, in reviewing the New York opening, which was eight days before the national release, refer to a different ending than the one in the print viewed. Whereas in the ending in the print viewed, "Dr. Leith," in England, receives a telegram from "Lady Fielding," in the Canary Islands, that makes no reference to her plans to join him, these reviews relate that "Lady Fielding's" telegram states that she has told her husband "Michael" about her romance with "Dr. Leith," that her husband understands and that she is sailing to England to join "Dr. Leith" the next day. A "Revised Final Shooting Script," dated April 3, 1934 in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, confirms that the original ending was, in fact, different from that in the print viewed. The telegram in that script reads as follows: "A wonderful thing has happened. I have told Michael everything and he understands. I'm sailing tomorrow." The Produced Scripts Collection also includes a "Dialogue taken from the screen," date June 23, 1934, before the New York opening, which includes the telegram as it appears in the print viewed. Thus, it is apparent that two endings were shot. According to Daily Variety, this film was placed on the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency "condemned" list. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the film cost $339,600 to produce, and by 1962, it had grossed $421,600.