The Keeper of the Bees


1h 15m 1935

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 15, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.; Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter (Garden City, NY, 1925).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,778ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

At the San Juan Veterans Hospital, Jamie McFarland, who was gassed during World War I, learns that he has only six months to live and, at the suggestion of a nurse, decides to go on one last spree. Upon leaving the hospital, he hitches a ride with a pretty, blue-eyed woman who doesn't tell him her name, and after she drops him off, he decides to take a detour in order to follow her to the small town of Peaceful Bay. There he subsequently meets Michael, known as "The Bee Master," a veteran of the Cuban conflict, who has just had a heart attack. Jamie calls Grayson, the town doctor, and in order to allow Michael to go to the hospital, he agrees to take care of the bees in his absence, despite his fear of them. "Little Scout," an orphan who has been trained in beekeeping by Michael, arrives to assist Jamie, and gradually he loses his fear of the creatures as Scout teaches him the simple pleasures of beekeeping. Meanwhile, Margaret Campbell, Michael's kindly housekeeper, searches for her daughter, who has left home in order to be a teacher. One evening, as Jamie takes a walk with his dog, he encounters the blue-eyed young woman with whom he had hitched a ride. After she explains between sobs that she desperately needs to obtain a marriage certificate, Jamie vows to help her, as he will be dead soon anyway, and agreeing not to ask each other any questions, they make plans to wed the next morning. On the wedding day, Jamie's bride refuses to tell him her real name and signs the marriage certificate "Louise," after which she kisses Jamie and departs. Returning to the bees, Jamie meets Lap, Scooter and Butch, three boys led by Scout as an "army," and one afternoon, when Scout's "army" goes swimming, they discover that their leader is not a boy, but a girl dressed in boy's clothing. The army promptly deserts, and a distraught Scout admits to Jamie that her real name is Jean Marie Meredith, after which Jamie comforts her by promising to send her to a girls' camp. Jamie and Scout visit Michael in the hospital, but he dies shortly thereafter and wills his estate to both of them. Months pass, and gradually Scout, the bees, fresh air and the joys of rural living give Jamie a new lease on life and contribute to his physical rehabilitation. A telegram arrives one morning informing Jamie that he is about to become a father; however, when he goes to the hospital, he discovers that the mother, who begs him to take care of her child, is not the same young woman he married. Nevertheless, Jamie brings the infant back to Peaceful Bay, where it is cared for with tenderness by Scout and Margaret. Jamie's bride eventually appears, and introducing herself as Molly, she explains that she married him in order to save her cousin, the daughter of her Aunt Margaret, from dishonor. Margaret is thrilled at learning that the infant is her own grandchild, and everybody agrees that from here on out, the future shall be happy for all.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 15, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Monogram Pictures Corp.; Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter (Garden City, NY, 1925).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,778ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Seaside exterior locations were shot in San Pedro and Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA. Variety noted that the picture was a follow-up to Monogram's popular production of Gene Stratton-Porter's Girl of the Limberlost, which was released the previous year. A special photoplay edition of the novel, with a dust jacket depicting a scene from the film, was published by Grosset and Dunlap. A full-page synopsis of the story appeared in the August 1935 issue of True Story Magazine and in an unspecified issue of Romantic Movies, according to the pressbook, as well as a 5,000-word serialization in the September 1935 issue of Screen Romances. Other film adaptations of the novel include a 1925 version from Gene Stratton Porter Productions, directed by James Leo Meehan and starring Robert Frazer (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30: F2.2850) and a 1947 Columbia picture directed by John Sturges and starring Michael Duane.