Now and Forever


1h 21m 1934
Now and Forever

Brief Synopsis

A young swindler tries to mend his ways when he's reunited with his daughter.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
Aug 31, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Jerry Day and Toni Carstairs, a pair of vagabond thieves in love, are on a boat from Shanghai when Jerry receives word from Connecticut that the parents of his dead wife want to take possession of his daughter Penelope. Jerry is willing to sell Penny to his brother-in-law for $75,000, but Toni, after three years of life on the run, thinks she and Jerry should want the baby and leaves for Paris alone. In Connecticut, among his stuffy, disciplinarian in-laws, Jerry decides to claim Penny and tells her he is her father. Jerry takes Penny to New York, where he sells a bogus option for a mine to a nice elderly man, Felix Evans, then sails for Europe with Felix' $5,000 check. Felix is on the same boat, however, and disembarks in Paris. There, Toni gives Jerry an ultimatum: a life of dodging debtors or settling down with her. Although Jerry gets a job selling real estate, Felix reveals he is also a thief and involves him in a scheme to steal some pearls. Felix' proposed victim is the wealthy Mrs. J. H. P. Crane, who befriends Penny. When Penny's school bill comes due, Jerry must overdraw his account to make the payment. At that point, Mrs. Crane offers to adopt Penny, but Jerry vows to make ends meet. Mrs. Crane then throws Penny a party during which Jerry steals Mrs. Crane's pearls to avoid debtor's jail and hides them in Penny's teddy bear. When Penny asks Jerry if he stole the necklace, he swears on their "honor bright" system of honesty that he didn't do it. Penny, however, finds the necklace and realizes her daddy lied. Toni tells Penny that Jerry stole the necklace for her, then tells Jerry they're through. A remorseful Jerry goes to Felix to retrieve the necklace, but Felix confronts him with a gun, and in the ensuing struggle, Jerry shoots him. Jerry, himself wounded, returns the necklace to Mrs. Crane and offers her Penny, then says goodbye to his daughter. As Jerry collapses, he tells Toni he has finally stopped running.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
Aug 31, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Productions, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Articles

Now and Forever


Shirley Temple was the biggest child star of the 1930s. With her blonde curls, her sweet smile, and her ability to dance, Shirley won the hearts of the American audience in the middle of the Great Depression. The six-year-old (the studio and her parents told her she was five) was receiving 400-500 fan letters a day by July 1934, when it was announced that she would star opposite Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard in Now and Forever (1934). At the time, one journalist mused, "A star, a drawing card, and a great 'name' at five. Shirley can't stop to wonder where she will be twelve or fifteen years from now."

Although Paramount produced Now and Forever, they were certainly kicking themselves over a lost opportunity. Only a year before, Temple had appeared in a Western called The Last Round Up (1933) but the studio were not impressed enough to sign her to a contract. Fox grabbed her and put her into Stand Up and Cheer! (1934) which made her an instant star. While Fox was trying to find suitable vehicles for her, Temple went back to Paramount for a two-picture deal, which produced Little Miss Marker (1934) and Now and Forever.

Filmed on the Paramount lot and on location in the mountain resorts of Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead, about two hours from Los Angeles, Now and Forever was directed by Henry Hathaway from a script by Vincent Lawrence and Sylvia Thalberg, based on the story Honor Bright by Melville Baker and Jack Kirkland. Honor Bright was the original title for Now and Forever, and the plot was clich├ęd even by 1934; the hardened crook reformed by the love of a child. After the death of his wife, con man Jerry Day (Cooper) is left with a small daughter, Penny (Temple). Knowing he can't take care of her, he leaves her in the care of relatives. Jerry travels the world, running scam after scam until he finds himself short of money. He considers an offer of $75,000 in exchange for giving up custody of his daughter, but when he and his girlfriend Toni (Lombard) meet Penny, they can't bring themselves to part with her. Penny goes to live with Jerry and Toni, and gets caught up in one of Jerry's cons and realizes her father is a crook. The film's script had several possible endings; including having Jerry shot and dying in Toni's arms and Jerry giving up Penny and driving his car off a cliff. Paramount went with a happy ending after preview audiences complained. They also didn't like having Temple in films about the seamier side of life. Fox took note, and when Shirley returned to their studio, she was put into more bucolic settings.

Now and Forever opened on October 12, 1934 in New York and the audience fell in love with Shirley Temple all over again. The critics loved her too. Wrote the Lewiston Evening Journal: "[Temple is a] fascinating little actress [who] has the most delightful and lovable character yet allotted to her with full scope for all her witchery, her ever-changing expressions and impulses and a precocity expressed in such charming ways that it never detracts from the charm of simplicity and innocence that is childhood's heritage." Andre Sennwald of The New York Times called it a "sentimental melodrama" in which an "otherwise lovable child has an annoying regard both for the truth and for the sanctity of other people's valuables. [...] The enormous charm of Shirley Temple is potent enough to make almost any character do almost anything. The little girl has lost none of her obvious delight in her work during her rise to fame. In Now and Forever she is, if possible, even more devastating in her unspoiled freshness of manner than she has been in the past."

While Lombard reportedly spoke highly of Temple, she recognized her talent and scene-stealing ability. When there was talk of remaking Now and Forever in 1949, gossip columnist Louella Parsons wrote, "I remember Carole telling me, 'I'll never make another movie with a child. You can't see Cooper or me when Shirley is on the screen.'"

SOURCES:

Dubas, Rita Shirley Temple: A Pictorial History of the World's Greatest Child Star
Edwards, Alanson "The Hollywood Roundup," The Sunday Morning Star 8 Jul 34
Hatch, Kristen Shirley Temple and the Performance of Girlhood
"Now and Forever at Carolina Theater" Herald-Journal 23 Sep 34
"Shirley Temple's Best Role in Now and Forever" Lewiston Evening Journal 19 Sep 34
"Coming Film Attractions" The Lewiston Daily Sun 16 Jul 34
Parsons, Louella "Mary Jane Inherits Shirley Temple Roles," The Deseret News 4 Feb 49
"Film Experts Often Miss Guess in Choosing Stars" The Pittsburgh Press 2 Oct 34
Sennwald, Andre "The Paramount Presents Little Miss Temple in 'Now and Forever'" The New York Times 13 Oct 34
Smith, Emily The Gary Cooper Handbook - Everything You Need to Know About Gary Cooper

By Lorraine LoBianco
Now And Forever

Now and Forever

Shirley Temple was the biggest child star of the 1930s. With her blonde curls, her sweet smile, and her ability to dance, Shirley won the hearts of the American audience in the middle of the Great Depression. The six-year-old (the studio and her parents told her she was five) was receiving 400-500 fan letters a day by July 1934, when it was announced that she would star opposite Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard in Now and Forever (1934). At the time, one journalist mused, "A star, a drawing card, and a great 'name' at five. Shirley can't stop to wonder where she will be twelve or fifteen years from now." Although Paramount produced Now and Forever, they were certainly kicking themselves over a lost opportunity. Only a year before, Temple had appeared in a Western called The Last Round Up (1933) but the studio were not impressed enough to sign her to a contract. Fox grabbed her and put her into Stand Up and Cheer! (1934) which made her an instant star. While Fox was trying to find suitable vehicles for her, Temple went back to Paramount for a two-picture deal, which produced Little Miss Marker (1934) and Now and Forever. Filmed on the Paramount lot and on location in the mountain resorts of Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead, about two hours from Los Angeles, Now and Forever was directed by Henry Hathaway from a script by Vincent Lawrence and Sylvia Thalberg, based on the story Honor Bright by Melville Baker and Jack Kirkland. Honor Bright was the original title for Now and Forever, and the plot was clich├ęd even by 1934; the hardened crook reformed by the love of a child. After the death of his wife, con man Jerry Day (Cooper) is left with a small daughter, Penny (Temple). Knowing he can't take care of her, he leaves her in the care of relatives. Jerry travels the world, running scam after scam until he finds himself short of money. He considers an offer of $75,000 in exchange for giving up custody of his daughter, but when he and his girlfriend Toni (Lombard) meet Penny, they can't bring themselves to part with her. Penny goes to live with Jerry and Toni, and gets caught up in one of Jerry's cons and realizes her father is a crook. The film's script had several possible endings; including having Jerry shot and dying in Toni's arms and Jerry giving up Penny and driving his car off a cliff. Paramount went with a happy ending after preview audiences complained. They also didn't like having Temple in films about the seamier side of life. Fox took note, and when Shirley returned to their studio, she was put into more bucolic settings. Now and Forever opened on October 12, 1934 in New York and the audience fell in love with Shirley Temple all over again. The critics loved her too. Wrote the Lewiston Evening Journal: "[Temple is a] fascinating little actress [who] has the most delightful and lovable character yet allotted to her with full scope for all her witchery, her ever-changing expressions and impulses and a precocity expressed in such charming ways that it never detracts from the charm of simplicity and innocence that is childhood's heritage." Andre Sennwald of The New York Times called it a "sentimental melodrama" in which an "otherwise lovable child has an annoying regard both for the truth and for the sanctity of other people's valuables. [...] The enormous charm of Shirley Temple is potent enough to make almost any character do almost anything. The little girl has lost none of her obvious delight in her work during her rise to fame. In Now and Forever she is, if possible, even more devastating in her unspoiled freshness of manner than she has been in the past." While Lombard reportedly spoke highly of Temple, she recognized her talent and scene-stealing ability. When there was talk of remaking Now and Forever in 1949, gossip columnist Louella Parsons wrote, "I remember Carole telling me, 'I'll never make another movie with a child. You can't see Cooper or me when Shirley is on the screen.'" SOURCES: Dubas, Rita Shirley Temple: A Pictorial History of the World's Greatest Child Star Edwards, Alanson "The Hollywood Roundup," The Sunday Morning Star 8 Jul 34 Hatch, Kristen Shirley Temple and the Performance of Girlhood "Now and Forever at Carolina Theater" Herald-Journal 23 Sep 34 "Shirley Temple's Best Role in Now and Forever" Lewiston Evening Journal 19 Sep 34 "Coming Film Attractions" The Lewiston Daily Sun 16 Jul 34 Parsons, Louella "Mary Jane Inherits Shirley Temple Roles," The Deseret News 4 Feb 49 "Film Experts Often Miss Guess in Choosing Stars" The Pittsburgh Press 2 Oct 34 Sennwald, Andre "The Paramount Presents Little Miss Temple in 'Now and Forever'" The New York Times 13 Oct 34 Smith, Emily The Gary Cooper Handbook - Everything You Need to Know About Gary Cooper By Lorraine LoBianco

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The title of Jack Kirland and Melville Baker's story was "Honor Bright." The Motion Picture Almanac review for this film describes a different ending from the viewed print. In the review ending, Jerry dies as he and Toni drive alongside a train that is taking Penny away. Toni then drives the car over an embankment, killing herself. According to a modern source, Paramount altered the ending to match the light-heartedness of the rest of the film. The revised ending listed in modern sources includes Toni rushing Jerry to a hospital and assuring him that Penny will understand, however, the viewed print ends with Jerry collapsing. According to modern sources, Dorothy Dell was originally scheduled to star in this film. Modern sources also credit Travis Banton with costumes, Harold C. Lewis with sound recording, and list the following additional cast members: Buster Phelps (Boy with skates, Rolfe Sedan (Hotel manager), Ynez Seabury (Girl), Major Sam Harris (Man at pool), Grace Hale (Lady in store) and Ronnie Cosby (Little boy).