AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A Feather in Her Hat
Director: Alfred Santell (Dir)
Release Date:   17 Oct 1935
Production Date:   27 Jun--21 Aug 1935
Duration (in mins):   72-74
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Pauline Lord (Clarissa Phipps)  
    Basil Rathbone (Captain [Randolph] Courtney)  
    Louis Hayward (Richard Orland)  
    Billie Burke (Julia Trent Anders)  
    Wendy Barrie (Pauline Anders)  
    Nydia Westman (Emily Judson)  
    Victor Varconi (Paul Anders)  
    Thurston Hall (Sir Elroyd Joyce)  
    Nana Bryant (Lady Drake)  
    J. M. Kerrigan (Popjoy)  
    Lawrence Grant (Dr. Phillips)  
    Doris Lloyd (Liz Vining)  
    David Niven (Leo Cartwright)  
    John Rogers (Henry Vining)  
    E. E. Clive (Higgins--proprietor of pub)  
    Leonard Mudie (Orator)  
    Harry Allen (Alf)  
    Ottola Nesmith (Susan)  
    Tempe Pigott (Katy)  
    Leyland Hodgson (Leading man)  
    Boyd Johnson (English doctor)  
    Olaf Hytten (Taxi driver)  
    Jimmy Aubrey (Taxi driver)  
    David Dunbar (Truck driver)  
    Herbert Heywood (Fish monger)  
    Thomas R. Mills (Stage manager)  
    Robert Cory (Stage manager)  
    Fred Walton (Heckler)  
    Frank Baker (English policeman)  
    James May (Butcher)  
    Wilson Benge (Butcher)  
    Peggy Wynne (Cockney woman)  
    Edna Lyall (Cockney woman)  
    Ambrose Barker (Cockney man)  
    John Power (Cockney man)  
    Sonny Roe (Cockney man)  
    D'Arcy Corrigan (Cockney man)  
    George Bunny (Cockney man)  
    Hugh Harris (Cockney man)  
    Stanley Mann (Cockney man)  
    John McCallum (Cockney man)  
    William Martin (Richard--as a boy)  
    Alma Chester (Mrs. Wheeler)  
    Elsie Prescott (Mrs. Guernsey)  
    Agnes Steele (Mrs. Probert)  
    Captain John Van Eyck (Hospital attendant)  
    Geordie Mackay (Messenger boy)  
    Dan Maxwell (Driver)  
    Doreen Munroe (Mrs. Popjoy)  
    Kay Deslys (Barmaid)  
    Robert Hale (Cab driver)  
    Gil Perkins (Ticket taker)  
    Larry Dodds (Ticket seller)  
    Nellie St. Clair (Scrub woman)  
    Minnie Steele (Scrub woman)  
    Douglas Gordon (Interne)  
    Vivien Patterson (Nurse)  
    Corinne Williams (Nurse)  
    Tyrone Brereton (Waiter)  
    John Irwin (Bouncer)  
    Lois Lindsey    
    Montague Shaw    
    George Kirby    
    Henry Mowbray    
    Carrie Daumery    
    Richard Lancaster    
    Lowden Adams    
    Doris Stone    
    Phillips Smalley    
    Mrs. Wilfrid North    
    Major Sam Harris    
    Lorimer Johnston    
    Joyce Colby    
    Reba Phillips    
    Eleanor Huntley    
    Ivan Christy    
    Frank Ward    
    Gladys Gale    
    Bruce Wyndham    
    Dorothy Johnson    
    Frank Benson    
    J. Gunnis Davis    
    Mrs. Frank Benson    
    Connie Leon    
    Mildred Hardy    
    Phillis Coghlan    

Summary: In 1925, in London's Hyde Park, Clarissa Phipps takes in the drunken, destitute gentleman Captain Randolph Courtney and asks him to educate her son Richard in the finer things of life. Ten years later, on Richard's 21st birthday, Clarissa reveals to him that he is not her son, but the son of a famous actress and a nobleman. Clarissa sends Richard away, so that he may fulfill his upper class heritage, but Richard seeks the help of Courtney. Together, they find some letters that indicate his mother is Julia Trent, who is now a poor housemanager and is married to an eccentric scientist, Paul Anders. Without revealing his identity, Richard takes a room with the Anderses. Soon Richard meets Julia's stepdaughter, Pauline, a painter, with whom he becomes infatuated. Visiting Clarissa for dinner, Richard encounters his uneducated girl friend, Emily Judson. The couple leave in a taxi, which is then involved in an accident, and the next morning Paul reads the news to Pauline. Pauline hurries to the hospital but finds that Richard's injuries are minor and he has been released. Clarissa clearly prefers Pauline to Emily and although Richard and Emily were to have been engaged, Clarissa encourages his feelings for Pauline. While convalescing, Richard writes a play, Son of Sixpence , written as a vehicle to return Julia to the stage. Meanwhile, Clarissa, long a victim of heart trouble, visits Dr. Phillips, who insists she must retire and move to the country. Later, Richard reveals to Clarissa that he will not ask Pauline to marry him because he has no name of his own. Richard's play is staged, and it is a success on opening night. Afterwards, Emily informs Richard that Clarissa passed out at the close of the play and then tells Pauline that it is she whom Richard loves. On her deathbed, Clarissa reveals that she is Richard's mother and that she concocted the story in order for Richard to become a person of "quality." Courtney sadly leaves, and Pauline comes for Richard. 

Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: Harry Cohn, President
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures Corp.  
Director: Alfred Santell (Dir)
  C. C. Coleman (Asst dir)
Producer: Everett Riskin (Supv)
Writer: Lawrence Hazard (Scr)
Photography: Joseph Walker (Photog)
Art Direction: Stephen Goosson (Art dir)
Film Editor: Viola Lawrence (Film ed)
Costumes: Murray Mayer (Cost)
Music: Louis Silvers (Mus dir)
Sound: George Cooper (Sd eng)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel A Feather in Her Hat by I. A. R. Wylie (Garden City, NY, 1934).
Authors: I. A. R. Wylie

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp. 9/10/1935 dd/mm/yyyy LP5839

PCA NO: 1350
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Noiseless Recording

Genre: Melodrama
Subjects (Major): London (England)
  Mothers and sons
Subjects (Minor): Actors and actresses
  Automobile accidents
  Heart disease
  Painters (Of paintings)
  Romantic rivalry

Note: According to FD , Ruth Chatterton was first chosen for the role of Clarissa, but was replaced by Pauline Lord by mutual agreement of the actress and the studio. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   23 Jul 35   p. 14.
Film Daily   25 Oct 35   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Nov 35   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   25 Oct 35   p. 7.
New York Times   25 Oct 35   p. 24.
Variety   30 Oct 35   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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