Another Dawn (a.k.a. Caesar's Wife) is a 1937 American film melodrama starring Errol Flynn and Kay Francis, based on Somerset Maugham's play Caesar's Wife. The film was directed by William Dieterle.
Colonel John Wister (Ian Hunter) is in charge of a post in the British desert colony of Dickit. While on leave in England he meets and falls in love with the beautiful American Julia Ashton (Kay Francis), whose aviator fiancé died in an aircraft accident. Although Julia does not love John, she likes him and agrees to his marriage proposal.
John takes Julia to Dickit, where she meets John's best friend, Captain Denny Roark (Errol Flynn), and Denny's sister, Grace (Frieda Inescort), who is secretly in love with John. Denny reminds Julia of her dead fiance and the two of them fall in love. John discovers this and although he would give her a divorce, he knows that she is too decent to leave him.
An uprising by local Arabs means one of the soldiers must fly a suicidal bombing mission. Denny volunteers but as he is saying good bye to Julia, John flies off instead, sacrificing his life so that his best friend and wife can be together.
Somerset Maugham's play Caesar's Wife was first performed in 1919 starring C. Aubrey Smith. It concerned Sir Arthur Little, a British consulate agent in Cairo, who married a 19-year-old wife, Violet. Violet likes Little but falls in love with his private secretary, Ronald Perry. The play was filmed in 1928 as Infatuation starring Corinne Griffith.
Warners bought the rights to Caesar's Wife in late 1935. Errol Flynn had just impressed with Captain Blood and was announced as the male lead of Caesar's Wife in February 1936.
In March it was announced Flynn and Bette Davis would co star in Another Dawn and that the film would be set in Iraq with Laird Doyle, who had written Dangerous, doing the script. Doyle would receive an original story credit for the film, with no attribution being given to Maugham, although the film also dealt with a love triangle between two friends and the wife of one of them in a colonial outpost.
Ian Hunter later joined as the third star. In June, Warners announced the film would be one of their "special productions" for the following year.
Flynn insisted that Warner Bros give him three months off after the film so he could travel to Borneo and take footage for a film based on a story of his, The White Rajah.
Davis then went on suspension forcing Warners to find other actors to take over her roles. Tallulah Bankhead was announced for Another Dawn but The New York Times said this casting was "subject to change without notice." Eventually Warners decided to give the role to Kay Francis and William Dieterle was to direct.
"I don't do much in it," said Francis. "Things just happen about me. I am just a wife who has been unfortunate in love, as usual."
Filming of Another Dawn took place on the Warners backlot at Lasky Mesa, in Calabasas, California, with action sequences also shot in Yuma, Arizona. Flynn apparently wrecked his ankle whilst playing tennis during the making of the film and required hospitalization. Francis also missed three days filming due to toxic poisoning.
William Dieterle, later in memo to Hal Wallis, dated July 21, 1938, claimed he did not want to make the film but did it as a favour to producer Hal Wallis. Errol Flynn did not want to make the film either and did not like working for William Dieterle. He was also negotiating with Warner Bros. for a new contract and on one occasion refused to come out of his trailer.
Filming began September 26, 1936, but Francis was exhausted after making back-to-back films and it was showing up in footage. Warners was interrupted when an exhausted Francis went in holiday in Europe in November 1936. It resumed and was completed in February 1937.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was so pleased with his theme music for this production that he used it in the first movement of the Violin Concerto he wrote some years later.
Another Dawn earned $572,000 domestically (in the US and Canada) and $473,000 overseas. Generally, critical reviews were dismissive, as the film was mainly notable for its "haunting score" rather than its actors or story.
In 1939 Warners announced Flynn and Geraldine Fitzgerald would star in The Outpost adapted from Caesar's Wife by Somerset Maugham and directed by Michael Curtiz. Eventually Flynn was replaced in announcements by Cary Grant. Warners were advertising the film was late as 1941 but it appears it was never made.