Cast & Crew
Deeply depressed by her exhausting, loveless life, Dr. Margaret "Peggy" J. Simmons, a renowned New York plastic surgeon, announces to her longtime admirer, Dr. Helmuth "Heppie" Heppling, that she is going to California on an indefinite leave of absence. Although the paternal Heppie, a researcher who is working on a serum that would relieve certain forms of paralysis, assures her that he loves her, Peggy insists that she must find real love before she is too old to attract men. In California, Peggy ingratiates herself with a sophisticated crowd, who know nothing of her medical background, and begins to enjoy herself for the first time in years. One day, while dining with friends at a seaside cafe, Peggy sees Bobby Preble, the playboy son of a former patient whom she had met in New York, performing flying stunts with his girl friend, Lee Joyce. After a near crash landing on the beach, Bobby meets Peggy and recognizes her as his mother's physician. Taken with Peggy's outward transformation, Bobby agrees to keep her identity a secret but insists that they dine together that night. Although Bobby reassures Lee that his interest in Peggy is passing, he spends all of his time with the physician and, while boating with her on a moonlit river, professes his love. Terrified that Bobby is only infatuated with her, Peggy downplays his confession and leaves for New York the next day. Soon after her return to the hospital, however, Bobby shows up and proposes an immediate marriage. Overjoyed, Peggy accepts and asks a heartbroken but brave Heppie to give her away at the wedding. Months later, while Peggy and Bobby are living a quiet life in the country, Bobby's gang of friends, including Lee, drop by for drinks. While the bored Bobby eagerly entertains his friends, Heppie shows up and tells Peggy that Bill, a paralyzed boy whom she has known for years, needs an operation and is calling for her. After Peggy returns home from the successful surgery, she sees a drunk Bobby kissing Lee. Her dream of romance crushed, Peggy slips away undetected and confesses her misery to Heppie, who advises her to give Bobby another chance. Just then Peggy receives word that Bobby has been injured in an airplane crash and, forgetting her anger, she rushes to see him in the hospital. Although Bobby is unconscious when Peggy arrives, his doctor assures her that he was not seriously injured. However, when she learns from the doctor that Lee was with Bobby, Peggy realizes that the young lovers belong with each other and, after surgically repairing Lee's damaged face, she kisses the still-unconscious Bobby goodbye. Leaving the hospital, Peggy finds that the ever-faithful Heppie has been waiting outside for her. She takes his arm as they walk off together and thanks him for waiting so long.
Merian C. Cooper
W. C. Moore
Van Nest Polglase
The working title of this film was Beautiful. Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Humphrey Pearson was working on the film's script with Henry McCarty. Pearson's exact contribution to the final screenplay has not been determined. RKO borrowed Robert Young from M-G-M for the production. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Clive Brook was offered the role of "Dr. Heppling" but turned it down after RKO refused to re-write the part to his specifications. After Brook declined, Paul Lucas was announced as his replacement. Nils Asther, however, was finally cast. William Gargan was also announced as a cast member, but he was not in the completed film.
The Right to Romance was not shown publicly for many years after its original release, but a restored version of the film was broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable network in April 2007. For additional information on the history of the restoration, please consult the entry above for Double Harness.