Laddie (1935 film)
Laddie is a 1935 American comedy-drama film directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by Ray Harris and Dorothy Yost, based on the 1913 novel, Laddie: A True Blue Story, by Gene Stratton-Porter. The film stars John Beal, Gloria Stuart, and Virginia Weidler.
|Directed by||George Stevens|
Gene Yarbrough (assistant)
|Written by||Ray Harris|
|Based on||the novel, Laddie: A True Blue Story|
by Gene Stratton-Porter
|Produced by||Pandro S. Berman|
William Sistrom (associate)
|Edited by||James Morley|
|Music by||Roy Webb|
In the farmland of Indiana in 1853, a romance forms between Laddie Stanton, the farmer-boy, and his English neighbor, Pamela Pryor. Their love is aided by the support of Laddie’s younger sister, who he calls “Little Sister.” After encountering Pamela in the enchanted woods, she is the one who initially introduces Laddie to Pamela. Yet, this romance is looked down upon by the Stanton Family, who view Pamela as a stuck-up princess, as well as by Charles Pryor, Pamela’s father and the prim town squire, who views Laddie as a low-class farmer.
After the wedding of his sister Sally occurs, Laddie is inspired to turn his love for Pamela into marriage. But when Laddie approaches Charles and asks for his daughter’s hand in marriage, he is angrily turned down on account of not having a gentlemanly profession. Angered by Laddie’s actions, Pamela goes off into the woods, where she runs into her brother, Robert, who everyone thought was dead. As it turns out, he was alive and had rather been disowned by his father Charles and estranged from the Pryor family on account of supposedly stealing English military secrets. In their encounter, Pamela learns that Robert is very ill with a fever and sends him with Little Sister over to the Stanton household so he can get treatment.
After bringing Robert home, Little Sister encounters Charles in the woods and mistakenly reveals that Robert has returned, stating his whereabouts. Furious, Charles heads over to the Stanton house where he is met by Laddie and Mrs. Stanton. After being convinced that he should forgive and love Robert, Charles reunites with his son. Because of this, Laddie and Pamela are reunited and their romance continues.
The film was adapted from the novel Laddie: A True Blue Story, which was written by Gene Stratton-Porter in 1913. The novel itself is somewhat autobiographical, as Porter based its setting, characters, and plot on her childhood life. As the youngest child in her farm family, Porter is represented by “Little Sister,” while “Laddie” is based on her favorite older brother, who she called Laddie. The farmland setting of the novel was inspired by the farm that Porter grew up on, and the enchanted forest setting was inspired by Porter’s free rein to explore the natural world as a child.
The film adaptation was released by RKO Radio Picture Productions on April 5, 1935 after being filmed from January 3 to February 5. The black and white film had a screen running time of 70 minutes. Because Motion Picture Harold’s preview running time was 82 minutes, it is likely that much of the film was edited out before being released. After being released, reviews of the film praised the acting and careful production, yet critiqued the plot, stating that it was outworn and unremarkable.
Once a lost film, Laddie (1935) has since been recovered. When Laddie was remade in 1940 by RKO, most of the film prints of the 1935 adaptation were destroyed. Yet a single 35mm print remained at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film was preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2013. It was restored as part of the Academy’s “Film to Film” project and shown publicly at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2014.
- "Laddie: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- "Laddie (1935) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
- Rasche, Katherine Emma (1982). ""Success in the Limberlost: Concepts of nature and the successful life in the Limberlost novels of Gene Stratton-Porter"". W&M Scholar Works.
- "Laddie (1926) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
- "Laddie (1940) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
- Variety (1935). Variety (May 1935). Media History Digital Library Media History Digital Library. New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
- ""The Re-Premiere of LADDIE (1935)."". Virginia Weidler Remembrance Society. September 28, 2014.