The Zero Hour
Cast & Crew
Carefully nurtured by producer Julian Forbes, Linda Marsh has blossomed into a Broadway star. The two fall in love and decide to drive to the country to be married by a justice of the peace, but their plans meet with a tragic end when Julian's car runs out of gas and, while hailing a passing motorist for assistance, he is run down and paralyzed for life. After the accident, Julian insists that marriage is out of the question, but Linda vows to stay by his side. As the years pass, Linda becomes a big star but finds herself consumed by loneliness. For companionship, she decides to adopt Beth, a little girl whom she has seen at an orphanage. Julian agrees with her decision, but when she approaches Sister Theodosia, the head of the orphanage, about the adoption, Linda learns that Stuart Brewster, a widower whose wife and daughter died in childbirth, has already requested the little girl. After Beth's adoption, Linda continues to visit the little girl, and gradually she and Stuart fall in love. Stuart realizes that he and Beth are happier with Linda than with his socialite fiancée, Susan Pendleton, and so he breaks off his engagement. When Stuart proposes to Linda, she decides that it is time to tell Julian that she has fallen in love with another man. Before she can do so, though, Julian confesses that the past few weeks alone have made him realize that he cannot live without her. Under the circumstances, Linda decides that she must give up her love for Stuart and devote her life to Julian. Enraged when he learns of her intended sacrifice, Stuart goes to confront Julian, but is so touched by Julian's love for Linda that he pretends that his affair with her is over. Julian sees through the ruse, however, and realizing that Linda must be set free to marry the man she loves, he rolls his wheelchair off the roof of his apartment building. Linda learns of Julian's suicide just as she is about to go on for the last act of her current play. Knowing that he would want her to go on, she waits in the wings for her cue and asks Julian to hold her hand as he has always done.
J. M. Kerrigan
This picture had the working title All the Tomorrows. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Henry Wilcoxon was originally considered for "the male lead opposite Frieda Inescourt."