Merely Mary Ann


1h 14m 1931

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 6, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Merely Mary Ann by Israel Zangwill (Wallingford, England, 22 Oct 1903).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono (MovieTone)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,750ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Vicar Smedge brings Mary Ann, a naive orphan, to work as a drudge for London boardinghouse keeper Mrs. Leadbatter. One of the tenants, John Lonsdale, a frustrated composer who is disdainful of popular music and people he feels are beneath him, insults Mary Ann's "vulgar sentiment" when she pays the rent on his newly-delivered piano because he does not have enough to pay the draymen. When John criticizes Mary Ann's red hands, his friend, Peter Brooke, comforts her and tries to account for John's angry mood by telling her that five years earlier, John broke off from his father, a wealthy shipowner, and that he is struggling now to avoid admitting failure. After John apologizes to Mary Ann and explains that he criticized her hands because women in his family always wore gloves, he kisses her cheek and grudgingly agrees to keep her canary, whose night warbling has bothered Mrs. Leadbatter. Soon Mary Ann obtains gloves and enjoys John's goodnight kisses. After impresario Granville Gascony writes to John to say he likes his composition, John excitedly gets ready to leave. Mary Ann begs to go with him as his housekeeper, and he agrees, but when Mrs. Leadbatter learns that he has kissed Mary Ann, she locks her in her room. John pays Mrs. Leadbatter the back rent he owes and puts a note in the canary cage for Mary Ann to meet him at a tailor shop if she still wants to join him. Later, at a cottage by the sea, John and Mary Ann frolic on the beach. As she happily prepares his lunch, he plays a piece from his new operetta, which lacks a story. Just then, Mrs. Leadbatter and Vicar Smedge arrive with news that oil has been found on a farm left by Mary Ann's father and that she is now one of the wealthiest commoners in England. Although Mary Ann would prefer to remain with John, Mrs. Leadbatter and the vicar insist that arrangement is impossible unless they marry. When John refuses, saying that he would only be marrying her for the money, Mary Ann disconsolately leaves after giving John the canary. One year later, at the intermission of John's operetta "Mary Ann," John sees Mary Ann, who, despite her wealth, lives simply in the country near her birthplace. After she castigates him for having been too proud to marry a servant, he agrees that he was, but asks her to return. She refuses and he admits that he never realized the love that surrounded him until it was gone. Sometime later, as John is composing and remembering Mary Ann, she knocks on his door and puts on her gloves. John pinches himself, and after he is sure that he is not imagining her, they embrace.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 6, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Merely Mary Ann by Israel Zangwill (Wallingford, England, 22 Oct 1903).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono (MovieTone)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,750ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Israel Zangwill's play was based on his novel of the same title (London and New York, 1893). Fox previously made films based on the same source in 1916, starring Vivian Martin, and in 1920, starring Shirley Mason (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.2908 and F1.2909).