Merrily We Go to Hell


1h 18m 1932
Merrily We Go to Hell

Brief Synopsis

Frederich March plays nere-do-well Jerry Corbett, who finally meets and marries the right girl, Joan Prentiss, played by Sylvia Sydney. Unfortunately their wedded bliss is interrupted when Jerry's play becomes a hit and he hooks up with the wrong woman from his past. Joan decides that turn-about is fair play and she picks Cary Grant to escort her around to various parties around New York. Eventually Jerry quits drinking and sends his girlfriend packing, just in time for Joan to take him back.

Film Details

Also Known As
Jerry and Joan
Release Date
Jun 10, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel I, Jerry, Take Thee, Joan by Cleo Lucas (New York, 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Chicago newspaper reporter and aspiring playwright Jerry Corbett and heiress Joan Prentice meet at a house party and fall in love. Despite Jerry's reputation as a drinker and his poor economic status, Joan accepts his marriage proposal. Joan's father does his best to prevent the union, offering Jerry money to back out, but Jerry refuses. When Jerry shows up late and drunk for their engagement party, everyone thinks Joan will see the error of her ways, but she remains steadfast and marries him. Jerry works on his plays at home and remains sober even while receiving rejection notices from publishers. Finally, Jerry's play When a Woman Says No is bought, and he and Joan go to New York for the production. The play stars Jerry's former flame, Claire Hempstead. The night of the premiere, Jerry becomes intoxicated and when his friend Buck brings him home in a stupor, Jerry mistakes Joan for Claire. Although she realizes Jerry started drinking again only when he was around Claire, Joan insists on staying with him in New York. When she finds him leaving one night to go to Claire's, she throws him out, but the next day, she informs him that she has decided to behave as if they had a modern marriage and so intends to take up with some lovers herself. So, while Jerry is making his usual "Merrily we go to hell" toast with Claire, Joan toasts the "holy state of matrimony--single lives, single beds and triple bromides in the morning" with her date, Charlie Baxter. On New Year's Eve, Joan finds out that she is pregnant, and is warned by the doctor of her poor physical condition. She tries to tell Jerry, but he is too preoccupied with Claire to listen, and so she leaves him. Jerry soon realizes that Claire means nothing to him, while Joan, to whom he has never professed his love, means everything. Jerry returns to Chicago, works again at the newspaper and remains sober, but Joan's father prevents any attempt he makes at contacting her. Finally, Jerry hears of Joan's pregnancy from the gossip columnist and rushes to the hospital. Joan's father attempts to prevent him from visiting her, even though she asks for him, but Jerry pushes his way through and finds his wife gravely ill. She has lost the baby, but Jerry has returned to give her his undying love.

Film Details

Also Known As
Jerry and Joan
Release Date
Jun 10, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Publix Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel I, Jerry, Take Thee, Joan by Cleo Lucas (New York, 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Jerry and Joan. In the plot synopsis in the pressbook, Joan returns to Chicago after Jerry begins his drinking and his affair with Claire in New York. Joan attends a party in Chicago where she is confronted with Jerry and Claire boldly kissing. Joan tries to drown herself, but is rescued by a friend. Jerry finally comes to her side, and they reconcile. According to a news item in Film Daily, Jack Oakie was slated to appear in the film. Cary Grant's role was originally listed as "Stage leading man" in the copyright records and pressbook. According to a news item in Variety, the Los Angeles Times refused to print the title of the film in its advertisements, although it was printed in their review. No other newspapers refused the publicity.