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      Anthony Adverse

      Released Aug 29, 1936 2h 20m Romance List
      18% Tomatometer 11 Reviews 48% Audience Score 250+ Ratings Based on the novel by Hervey Allen, this expansive drama follows the many adventures of the eponymous hero (Fredric March). Abandoned at a convent by his heartless nobleman father, Don Luis (Claude Rains), Anthony is later mentored by his kind grandfather, John Bonnyfeather (Edmund Gwenn), and falls for the beautiful Angela Giuseppe (Olivia de Havilland). When circumstances separate Anthony and Angela and he embarks on a long journey, he must find his way back to her, no matter what the cost. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (11) Critics Reviews
      Otis Ferguson The New Republic No life, no flow of story. It tries to dramatize as many of the book’s episodes as possible; but in the dramatizing there is shown no relish or conviction. May 7, 2024 Full Review TIME Magazine Readers wondered how those cinemen would succeed in putting the whole story into a single picture. As revealed last week, the answer is extremely simple. Warner Brothers do not succeed in anything of the sort because they do not try. Mar 26, 2013 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Fredric March as Adverse is an ace choice, playing the role to the hilt. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine There is an on-your-toes, give-your-best, you're-in-a-classic-now atmosphere about the acting which is fascinating. Oct 18, 2019 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine Good entertainment. Aug 7, 2019 Full Review TV Guide Lavish but overlong. Rated: 2/4 Jan 31, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (28) audience reviews
      Mark B Almost unwatchable: I'm on a quest to watch every Best-Picture winning or nominated film (there are 599 of them, fwiw, 1929's "The Patriot" being lost forever). Sometimes that quest has teed up unexpected gems. "The Best Years of our Lives," for one. "The Awful Truth" for another. And sometimes it tees up absolute horrors, and "Anthony Adverse" might be the worst yet. Painfully long, agonizingly melodramatic, the film spans a few decades and three continents. Along the way, agreeable orphan Anthony transforms into depressed mini-despot, only to return to form quite quickly after returning to Europe. Frederic March performs adequately, but Claude Rains, Gale Sondergaard and Steffi Duna put on a master class of over-acting, Rains being by far the most malignant. When he and his henchman share a laugh over the birth of Anthony, it makes Mike Myer's Dr Evil look subtle. This is truly one of the worst films I've ever seen, and my guess is that it made the Oscar-nominee list because of its breadth and ambition, much like "Around the World in 80 Days" a few decades later. (#441 in my "watch all Best Picture Nominees" bucket list) Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/23/24 Full Review Audience Member I have not read the largely forgotten book on which this movie is based. My favorite films are from the early 30's to the mid 40's. The cast in this film is stellar, including some of my favorite leads and supporting actors. I love costume dramas and adventures set in exotic places. However, with all of those factors to prejudice me in favor of Anthony Adverse, I was hugely disappointed. The plot seems okay. The sets and costumes are excellent. The cast, as I already mentioned, is stellar (in the credits!). The score seems appropriate. The expensive production shows throughout. The reason this film is so unsatisfying is rather puzzling. I think it may be one of those times everybody from the director on down was simply going through the motions. Hard to believe, given the cast. But they all seem so - not just two-dimensional, but - lifeless. Perhaps, as one other reviewer suggests, this film would have been better if de Havilland had been teamed with Errol Flynn instead of Frederic March. I don't remember seeing Flynn ever give a less than energetic performance. Frederic March, one of America's greats, fails to create a character that I could like, sympathize with or root for with any enthusiasm. In fact enthusiasm is what he seems to lack in this role. Olivia de Havilland is somewhat better, but this is one of her least impressive performances. Gale Sondergaard did very little to receive an academy award. The appearances of Louis Heyward and Anita Louise are entirely too short. I like both, and I would have liked more of them and less of March and de Havilland. Perhaps they should have reversed roles... Edmund Gwenn delivers a typically endearing performance in a typical Edmund Gwenn role. Henry O'Neill is usually very interesting, because he plays both sides of the fence - both good and bad guys. Here, his father Xavier is far more enjoyable than Pedro De Cordoba's Father Francoise. The only bright spot in this under-achieving ensemble is Claude Rains. He, too, plays both good and bad guys. Here he is an aristocratic charmer and schemer - despicable and deceitful. He is great! In the scene where he laughs demonically, he sends a chill up my spine. Thank you, Mr. Rains, for delivering a great, under-appreciated performance, in an otherwise deservedly forgotten film. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review steve d The acting is the only thing that held up. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review vin w Excellent sets, locations and atmospherics. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/10/20 Full Review david l Anthony Adverse admittedly has a terrific score and solid performances across the board from its great cast, but this is yet another overcooked, bloated book adaptation epic which has no momentum to it whatsoever. It's sluggishly paced, rather dull and weakly plotted and adapted. It's thus a very undeserving Oscar nominee. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Adverse buys and sells slaves in Africa for several years -- seemingly without conscience, and all for money. He personally directs the selling of poor innocent black men and women to whoever can pay and condemns them to a life of servitude to their new masters. This is not a film to be admired. Adverse travels all over the world and Napoleon Bonaparte is even thrown in, but nothing can forgive his years of slave trading and the black stain on his mind and heart. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Anthony Adverse

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Based on the novel by Hervey Allen, this expansive drama follows the many adventures of the eponymous hero (Fredric March). Abandoned at a convent by his heartless nobleman father, Don Luis (Claude Rains), Anthony is later mentored by his kind grandfather, John Bonnyfeather (Edmund Gwenn), and falls for the beautiful Angela Giuseppe (Olivia de Havilland). When circumstances separate Anthony and Angela and he embarks on a long journey, he must find his way back to her, no matter what the cost.
      Director
      Mervyn LeRoy
      Producer
      Henry Blanke
      Distributor
      Warner Bros. Pictures
      Production Co
      Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
      Genre
      Romance
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Aug 29, 1936, Original
      Runtime
      2h 20m