Jennie Gerhardt


1h 25m 1933

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 6, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser (New York, 1911).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,597ft

Synopsis

Jennie Gerhardt, the daughter of poverty-stricken, but hard-working parents, is employed with her mother laundering Senator Brander's clothes. One day, the kindly Brander takes Jenny to dinner and dancing, and after confessing his love for her, proposes. Jennie's father distrusts Brander and forbids her from seeing him again. Jennie obeys her father until her brother is arrested for stealing coal for their stove, and then she seeks Brander's help. He uses his influence to have her brother released, and out of gratitude, Jennie accepts his amorous advances. Brander leaves her with a promise of marriage upon his return from a six week trip to Washington, but he is killed when his train crashes. Jennie's father throws her out of the house when he discovers that she is pregnant by Brander, and she moves in with her cousin Ada in Cincinnati. There she gives birth to a daughter, Vesta, and is employed as a lady's maid to Louise Kane. Louise's brother Lester immediately falls in love with Jennie, and despite her better judgement, Jennie falls in love with him. They maintain a secret romance, and Jennie never reveals to Lester that she has a daughter, as he has vowed that he cannot bear the thought of her having loved another man. Lester's former girlfriend, Letty, moves to Europe and marries, and when Lester opens a new branch of the family factory in Chicago, Jennie moves in with him. Vesta lives with Ada in another apartment, and begins to question why her mother lives separately. Lester's family is scandalized because he is living with his sister's maid, and his father gives him an ultimatum to leave her within six months, or be dismissed and disinherited. Jennie's confession of her previous liaison with Brander is the only thing that prompts Lester to leave her, but he soon returns and brings Vesta and Ada to live with them. He keeps his dismissal a secret from Jennie, and takes them to Europe for an extended vacation. Lester grows restless and morose, however, and only brightens when Letty visits. After Letty reveals to Jennie the cause of Lester's break with the family, Jennie leaves Lester so that he can pursue a full life and be reunited with his family. Through the years, Jennie maintains a scrapbook of articles about his achievements and his marriage to Letty. Vesta grows up to be a beautiful young woman, but tragically dies of a fall at her high school graduation. Jennie is bereft and sends for Lester, but he arrives too late to provide any comfort. Jennie again watches Lester from afar until he calls her to his deathbed and confesses his undying love for her, which bolsters Jennie's weakened heart.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 6, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser (New York, 1911).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,597ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a pre-production news item in Motion Picture Herald, Josephine Lovett and Joseph Moncure March were assigned to the adaptation. Their contribution to the final film has not been determined.