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The Cabin in the Cotton (1932)

TV-G | | Drama | 15 October 1932 (USA)
A tenant farmer's son is caught in the middle of owner-tenant disputes when he falls for the plantation owner's seductive daughter.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Paul Green (screen play) (as Professor Paul Green), Harry Harrison Kroll (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Barthelmess ... Marvin Blake
Dorothy Jordan ... Betty Wright
Bette Davis ... Madge Norwood
Hardie Albright ... Roland Neal
David Landau ... Tom Blake
Berton Churchill ... Lane Norwood
Dorothy Peterson ... Lilly Blake
Russell Simpson ... Uncle Joe
Tully Marshall ... Slick
Henry B. Walthall ... Eph Clinton
Edmund Breese ... Holmes Scott
John Marston John Marston ... Russell Carter
Erville Alderson ... Sock Fisher
William Le Maire William Le Maire ... Jake Fisher (as William LeMaire)
Clarence Muse ... A Blind Negro
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Storyline

Sharecropper's son Marvin tries to help his community overcome poverty and ignorance. While working in the general store he learns that the owner has been cheating his tenants. He is in love with owner's daughter, Madge, but sides with the tenants in his threat to expose the planters and their cheating. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is blood thicker than LOVE?...more compelling than passion? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Hütte im Baumwollfeld See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis later confessed she was a virgin when she made the film. "Yes, that's absolutely true. No question about it," she added for emphasis. "But my part called for me to exude raging sexuality. Well, if they had known I was still a virgin, they wouldn't have believed I could carry it off. They wouldn't have trusted me if they'd known, but no one asked. It was assumed that a young actress had lived a bit of a loose life." See more »

Goofs

Ms. Madge enters the Dry Goods store owned by her father ( at about 10.78 minutes), and asks Marvin to a party that begins at 8:30. While Madge is running to her home after saying the famous line,"I'd like ta kiss ya but I've just washed my hair," she tells him the party is at 8:00. So the party goes from 8:30 to 8:00 for no reason. See more »

Quotes

Madge: Your head is full o' plans, isn't it, darlin', full o' plans.
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Crazy Credits

Foreword In many parts of the South today, there exists an endless dispute between the rich land-owners, known as planters and the poor cotton pickers, known as tenants or 'peckerwoods'. The planters supply the tennants with the simple requirements of every day life and in return the tennants work the land year in and year out. A hundred volumes could be written on the rights and wrongs of both parties, but it is not the object of the producers of 'The Cabin in the Cotton' to take sides. We are only concerned with an effort to picturize these conditions. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Great Stars (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl I Left Behind Me
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played at Betty's party when Marvin and Uncle Joe are outside talking
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Social Significance With A Little Sex
8 June 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The workingman's studio, better known as Warner Brothers, did most of its social commentary films with an urban setting. Which in itself makes The Cabin In The Cotton a very unique product to come out of this studio. It's not a bad film, could have been better in delivering its message with a lighter hand. But what the Brothers Warner did was go back on an old standby.

Watching The Cabin In The Cotton this morning put me in mind of a much better film in which Preston Sturges satirized the making of films like these. If you remember in Sullivan's Travels, director John L. Sullivan played by Joel McCrea wants to make films like these, the epic he wants to do is entitled Oh Brother Where Art Thou. But in order to sell it he's advised to make sure it has 'a little sex'.

Which brings me to why The Cabin In The Cotton is remembered today at all. It's because of what Bette Davis brings to the film, a little sex. This film was a big milestone in her career as she plays the hedonistic daughter of that old southern planter Berton Churchill who keeps his sharecroppers, black and white, in virtual peonage.

The lead Richard Barthelmess plays a bright young sharecropper's son and Churchill takes an interest in him, sending him to school to be educated because he has no son to help run the old plantation. What he does have is one sexpot of a daughter to keep Barthelmess on the side of the rich and privileged instead of finding true love with one of his own class in Dorothy Jordan.

Churchill has been systematically exploiting the sharecroppers with high interest and cheating them on price. They in turn have been stealing cotton and selling bits of it on the black market. Henry B. Walthall and Russell Simpson have been leading the quiet peasant's revolt which threatens to get open and nasty. I'd have to say that the ending of the film has a forced and obvious conclusion both romantically and socially, but you'll have to see it for yourselves to find out.

The Cabin In The Cotton is a dated, but historically valid film about conditions in the old Confederacy before the New Deal. But the sex that Bette Davis brings to her role is timeless.


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