8 user 2 critic

Girls' Dormitory (1936)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 8 August 1936 (USA)
When a busybody teacher in a girls' finishing school finds a love letter from a student to an unknown man, a minor scandal erupts.


Irving Cummings


Gene Markey (screenplay), Ladislas Fodor (play) (as Ladislaus Fodor)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herbert Marshall ... Dr. Stephen Dominik
Ruth Chatterton ... Professor Anna Mathe
Simone Simon ... Marie Claudel
Constance Collier ... Professor Augusta Wimmer
J. Edward Bromberg ... Dr. Spindler
Dixie Dunbar ... Luisa
John Qualen ... Toni
Shirley Deane ... Fritzi
Tyrone Power ... Count Vallais (as Tyrone Power Jr.)
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Hoffenreich
George Hassell George Hassell ... Dr. Wilfinger
Lynne Berkeley Lynne Berkeley ... Dora
June Storey ... Greta
Christian Rub ... Forester
Rita Gould ... Professor Emma Kern


Dr. Stephen Dominick is the head of a German girls' finishing school and a published author who is very popular with his students. When Professor Augusta Wimmer, a snooping busybody, finds a love letter in a wastepaper basket, she goes immediately to Dominick and demands an inquiry to determine the writer's identity. Handwriting comparisons point to Marie Claudel, a 19 year old French girl. Despite threats, the senior refuses to disclose the object of her affections. Could it be the headmaster? Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

8 August 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aula de señoritas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is Tyrone Power's first substantial role. He is billed as Tyrone Power Jr., to distinguish him from his illustrious father. See more »


Toni: Every morning you come in here and tidy up his room.
Professor Anna Mathe: Well, it needs a woman's touch.
Toni: Yes, but who gets the credit for it? Me! He thinks I bring him spring flowers. Flowers, huh! I wonder what kind of man he thinks I am!
See more »


Referenced in 20th Century Fox Promotional Film (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic May-December drama
14 May 2019 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Since I watched Herbert Marshall's movies from later in his career first, I had no idea he was once a dashing leading man. Even when I watched him in The Painted Veil and Blonde Venus, he was portrayed as a cuckold husband, so I still didn't witness his leading man status. Why didn't I watch Girls' Dormitory first? I would have loved him!

Girls' Dormitory sounds like a comedy from the music in the opening credits, but once the plot starts, it's clearly a serious drama. Herbert Marshall stars as the director of a girls' school in Germany, and he has a close friendship with one of the teachers, Ruth Chatterton. Everyone, including the school's groundskeeper John Qualen, knows Ruth has romantic feelings for Herbie, but he has no idea. Ruth's favorite student, Simone Simon has a crush on Herbie, and when she writes him a love letter, everything starts to spiral out of control. Simone has the good sense to throw away the letter, but a strict teacher, Constance Collier, digs through the garbage and finds it. Then, with another strict teacher, J. Edward Bromberg, they take Simone to task and try to expel her two days before graduation. Combined with the love triangle that's very engaging, the harsh reprimand of an innocent student is a very interesting storyline. The screenplay is smart and realistic, showing that some people are mean and want to punish regardless of consequence.

If you blink, you'll miss "Tyrone Power Jr." in one of his first movies, so if you're only watching this movie for him, pick something else. This is Herbie's show, and he's every bit the dashing leading man he was in the 1930s. He's handsome, charming, sensitive, responsible, and romantic. I'm partial to May-December stories, so while I started out liking the movie, the quality of the film itself made me enjoy all of it. Simone's accent is very thick, and at times it's hard to understand her, but since this is her first American movie, it's understandable to cut her a little slack. Ruth Chatterton gives an understated performance, and you'd never believe she'd be capable of losing her temper in the same year's Dodsworth. Girls' Dormitory is a really great movie, with tension galore and a very appealing leading man. Try it out with your friends from school!

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