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Woman in Chains (1932)

The Impassive Footman (original title)
Grace Marwood and her husband, a hopeless hypochondriac, take a cruise where she falls in love with the ship's medical officer, young Dr Daventry. The two continue to meet chastely for ... See full summary »


Basil Dean


Harold Dearden (additional dialogue), John Farrow (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Owen Nares ... Bryan Daventry
Betty Stockfeld ... Grace Marwood
Allan Jeayes ... John Marwood
George Curzon George Curzon ... Simpson
Aubrey Mather ... Dr. Bartlett
Frances Rose Campbell Frances Rose Campbell ... Mrs. Angers
Florence Harwood Florence Harwood ... Mrs. Hoggs


Grace Marwood and her husband, a hopeless hypochondriac, take a cruise where she falls in love with the ship's medical officer, young Dr Daventry. The two continue to meet chastely for several years, with Marwood's behaviour becoming ever more selfish and insufferable in the interim, until her husband finally becomes suspicious and accuses her violently of the adultery she has not in fact committed, provoking her to leave him for the man she loves. Meanwhile, the invalid's every whim is catered to by the mysterious well-educated footman Simpson, who is apparently prepared to put up with anything from his employer. But Marwood falls genuinely ill, and Daventry is the only doctor in England who may be able to save him... and the footman has a secret of his own... Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

17 October 1932 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman in Chains See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first film produced by the famous Ealing Studios. See more »


Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »


Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

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User Reviews

A fascinating talkie for silent film fans
14 March 2014 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

I never thought Fritz Kreisler's dignified and melancholic Caprice Viennois could be used to express carefree jauntiness but it's managed in this film - it expresses more in seconds than the multitude of words spoken. And all the Words in here are enunciated with capitals and a fervency usually … er unheard of outside of silent films…

Listless young woman Betty Stockfeld married to manic old before his time hypochondriac Allan Jeayes falls for a dashing doctor past his prime Owen Nares on a foreign cruise, the drama transfers two years later to London where the hypochondriac's enigmatic and hardly impassive footman with a past George Curzon gets into the picture. These four main characters hammed it up for all they were worth which together with decent production values and nice photography gave me an enjoyable if predictable melodrama. I nearly always like simple and hoary films like this, like when the font's in bold it can be easier to remember. Favourite bits: Curzon's mad shadow-heightened interlude at the camera to a cringing Jeayes; the "inhuman devil" Jeayes' occasional lapses into a Roderick Femm soundalike; Nares' black-hole stiff seriousness at all times – what a barrel of laughs he would be for a romance-starved woman! For a quota quickie all wonderful stuff! The morally dubious ending was just the icing on the cake. One of the cherubic Aubrey Mathers first films.

I liked it - it creaks badly so it won't be to everyone's taste of course, but if nothing else I notice one of the previous commenters was unusually almost charitable towards it, so maybe it really must be rather good.

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