7.1/10
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22 user 10 critic

The Cabin in the Cotton (1932)

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:

EVERY 2 YEARS BARTHELMESS MAKES HISTORY! 1920--"BROKEN BLOSSOMS" 1922--"TOL'ABLE DAVID" 1924--"BRIGHT SHAWL" 1926--"PATENT LEATHER KID" 1928--"WEARY RIVER" 1930--"DAWN PATROL" 1932--"CABIN IN THE COTTON" (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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: Cigarette?
Marvin Blake: No Thanks.
Madge: Don't drink, don't smoke... you'll be a preacher yet, won't you Marvin, or something different...? But you'll have to get loose from them.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Love Theme
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at Madge's party as dance music while Madge and Marvin are outside
Reprised on radio when Madge and Marvin are alone
Reprised as background music when Madge pleads to Marvin not to leave
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tale of two stars traveling in opposite directions
12 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This film is probably most important because it showcases two stars - Bette Davis and Richard Barthelmess - whose careers are traveling in opposite directions. Barthelmess actually headlines here, but he is a silent star whose career is on the decline, and he has a hard time getting parts after 1934. Bette Davis is a star on the rise, in only her first year of her contract with Warner Bros. where she will become a major star.

Unlike many silent era stars, Barthelmess' problem was not his voice but his acting style. He was just a little too wooden to turn in a truly dynamic performance, and this film is no exception. The story is pretty interesting - Barthelmess plays Marvin Blake, a sharecropper's son who is educated by the plantation landowner and ends up keeping his books. His loyalty is torn between the planter who is sponsoring him, and whose daughter attracts him, and the sharecropper families with whom he grew up. The planter owns everything and is always charging high fees and interest via the company store and thus cheating the sharecroppers out of what they need. The sharecroppers have cooked up a plan to short the planter some of their cotton and sell it themselves and reap the rewards.

It's really hard to take sides in this film because everyone seems so unsympathetic - both sides are stealing from the other without any remorse or much redeeming value for that matter. It is worth a look if you can find it, although it is not yet on DVD.


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