Tess of the Storm Country


1h 20m 1932

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 20, 1932
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Nov 1932
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Tess of the Storm Country by Grace Miller White (New York, 1909) and her play of the same name (production undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Film Length
7,229ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

After a ship's mate violently kisses Tess, the daughter of the ship's skipper, Captain Howland, the skipper decides that Tess is now too old to remain on a ship with a male crew. Although they are loathe to live on land, the skipper and Tess fix up a house at Rock Bayou, a squatter's haven on the East coast of the Storm Country. When bad-tempered, wealthy Frederick Garfield sees that the Howlands' home is on his property, he has the house burned. The skipper then purchases a squatter's hut with the last of his savings. He forbids Tess from joining him and Ben Letts, who helped them get settled, as they go net fishing, which is against the law. Tess, however, sneaks onto the boat, and the next morning rescues a man after his motorboat has hit the net and capsized. Later, the man, Frederick Garfield, Jr., goes to Tess's home to thank her, but when she learns that he is the son of the man who burned their house, she angrily throws him out. Their subsequent struggle is interrupted when Fred's father arrives with the game warden. After confiscating the skipper's torn nets, the warden threatens him with jail if he finds him net fishing again. During the Saturday night Yacht Club dance, Letts finds Tess listening to the music from across the water. She rebukes his flirtations and proposal, and when he then struggles with her, Peppy, her monkey, hits him on the head with a rock. When the irate father of three sisters whom Fred is drunkenly trying to court, chases him with a shotgun, Tess hides him in her hut. She slaps him after he kisses her, but when he apologizes, she seems genuinely interested to hear him talk about college. Meanwhile, the skipper, Letts and another man, Ezra, are surprised while net fishing by the warden and Dan Taylor, who is the secret sweetheart of Fred's sister Teola. Letts shoots and kills Dan and then hides in a cave after threatening Ezra if he talks. After the skipper is convicted of Dan's murder, Fred travels to the state capital to arrange for a new trial. When Tess sees Teola jump off a bridge in an attempt to kill herself, she rescues Teola and sends for Martha, a cynical midwife, who delivers Teola's child. After Tess promises not to reveal her secret, Teola leaves the baby with Tess and returns home. Letts again asks Tess to marry her, and their subsequent struggle is broken up when Fred returns and throws Letts out. Fred believes Letts's claim that the baby is his and Tess's despite her denial. When the baby becomes ill and needs medicine and better food, Tess visits the Garfield home to tell Teola. As Tess is taking milk and eggs from the refrigerator, Teola's father finds her, calls her a "dirty little thief," slaps her and sends her off, as Teola watches. When Martha tells Tess that the baby will die and will go to the Devil because he has not been baptized, Tess carries him through a rainstorm to the church where a baptism attended by the Garfields is taking place. Teola then cries out that the baby is hers and has him christened Daniel. After Ezra, prodded by Fred, reveals that Letts shot Dan, the skipper is freed. Back on a ship, the skipper gives orders to Fred, who kisses Tess as he carries them out.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 20, 1932
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Nov 1932
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Tess of the Storm Country by Grace Miller White (New York, 1909) and her play of the same name (production undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Film Length
7,229ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a Film Daily news item, Alexander Kirkland was to have played the male lead. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Evalyn Knapp was originally cast for the role of Teola Garfield, and Jill Dennett was replaced by Eleanor Hunt as one of the Longman sisters. Other films based on the same source include the 1914 Famous Players Film Co. production starring Mary Pickford and Frederick Graves and directed by Edwin Stanton Porter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.4394); the 1922 Mary Pickford Co. production, distributed by United Artists, starring Pickford and Lloyd Hughes and directed by John S. Robertson (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.5577); and a 1960 Twentieth Century-Fox release of an Everett Chambers production, starring Diane Baker and Jack Ging and directed by Paul Guilfoyle.