Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Anthony Adverse

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Adventure, Drama, Romance




Music director
United States

Anthony Adverse movie poster

Release date
August 29, 1936 (1936-08-29) (USA)

Based on
Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen

Hervey Allen (by), Sheridan Gibney (screen play)

Mervyn LeRoy, Michael Curtiz

Sheridan Gibney, Milton Krims

(Anthony Adverse), (Angela Guiseppe), (Vincent Nolte), (Maria), (John Bonnyfeather), (Marquis Don Luis)

Similar movies
Knock Knock
The Time Traveler's Wife
Forrest Gump
The Apartment

Anthony Adverse is a 1936 American epic costume drama film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Fredric March and Olivia de Havilland. Based on the first part of the novel Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen, with a screenplay by Sheridan Gibney, the film is about an orphan whose debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves. The film received four Academy Awards.


Anthony Adverse movie scenes

Among the four Academy Awards that Anthony Adverse won, Gale Sondergaard was awarded the inaugural Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Faith Paleologus.

Anthony Adverse movie scenes

Anthony adverse 1936 claude rains anita louise


Anthony Adverse movie scenes

In 1773, young English beauty Maria Bonnyfeather (Anita Louise) is the new bride of the cruel and devious middle-aged Spanish nobleman Marquis Don Luis (Claude Rains). However, she is pregnant by Denis Moore (Louis Hayward), the man she loved before being forced to marry Don Luis. After the marquis learns of his wife's affair, Don Luis takes her across Europe but Denis tracks them down at an inn, where Don Luis treacherously kills him in a sword duel.

Anthony Adverse wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters4376p4376p

Months later Maria dies giving birth to her son at a chalet in the Alps in northern Italy. Don Luis leaves the infant in the foundling wheel of a convent near the port city of Leghorn (Livorno), Italy, where the nuns christen him Anthony, as he was found on January 17, the feast day of St. Anthony the Great. Don Luis lies to Maria's father, wealthy Leghorn-based merchant John Bonnyfeather (Edmund Gwenn), telling him that the infant is also dead. Ten years later, completely by coincidence, Anthony (Billy Mauch) is apprenticed to Bonnyfeather, his real grandfather, who discovers his relationship to the boy but keeps it a secret from him. He gives the boy the surname Adverse in acknowledgement of the difficult life he has led.

As an adult, Anthony (Fredric March) falls in love with Angela Giuseppe (Olivia de Havilland), the cook's daughter, and the couple wed. Soon after the ceremony, Anthony is asked by Bonnyfeather to depart for Havana to save Bonnyfeather's fortune from a laggard debtor, the merchant trading firm Gallego & Sons. On the day his ship is supposed to set sail he and Angela are supposed to meet at the convent before departing together, but she arrives first while he is late. Unable to wait any longer, she leaves a note outside the convent to inform him that she is leaving for Rome with her opera company. But the note Angela leaves Anthony is blown away and he is unaware that she has gone to Rome. Confused and upset, he departs on the ship without her. Meanwhile, assuming he has abandoned her, she departs and continues her career as an opera singer.

Learning that Gallego has quit Havana, Anthony leaves to take control of Gallego & Sons only remaining asset—a slave trading post on the Pongo River in Africa. Three years in the slave trade (so he can recover Bonnyfeather's debt) corrupts him, and he takes slave girl Neleta into his bed. Anthony is eventually redeemed by his friendship with Brother François (Pedro de Córdoba). After the monk is crucified and killed by the natives, Anthony returns to Italy to find Bonnyfeather has died. His housekeeper, Faith Paleologus (Gale Sondergaard) (Don Luis' longtime co-conspirator, and now wife), has inherited Bonnyfeather's fortune. Anthony reaches Paris to rectify the situation and claim his inheritance.

In Paris, Anthony is reunited with his friend, prominent banker Vincent Nolte (Donald Woods), whom he saves from bankruptcy by giving him his fortune, having learned from Brother François that "there's something besides money and power". Through the intercession of impresario Debrulle (Ralph Morgan), Anthony finds Angela and discovers she bore him a son. His wife fails to reveal she is now Mademoiselle Georges, a famous opera star and the mistress of Napoleon Bonaparte. When Anthony learns her secret, she sends him their son, stating that he is better suited to raise the boy. Anthony departs for America with his son, Anthony Jr. (Scotty Beckett), in search of a better life.


  • Fredric March as Anthony Adverse
  • Olivia de Havilland as Angela Giuseppe
  • Donald Woods as Vincent Nolte
  • Anita Louise as Maria
  • Edmund Gwenn as John Bonnyfeather
  • Claude Rains as Marquis Don Luis
  • Louis Hayward as Denis Moore
  • Gale Sondergaard as Faith Paleologus
  • Steffi Duna as Neleta
  • Billy Mauch as Anthony Adverse (age 10)
  • Akim Tamiroff as Carlo Cibo
  • Ralph Morgan as Debrulle
  • Henry O'Neill as Father Xavier
  • Pedro de Cordoba as Brother François
  • Alma Lloyd as Florence Udney (as an adult)
  • Anne Howard as Angela as a Child (uncredited)
  • Production

    Original choices for the lead role include Robert Donat, Leslie Howard and George Brent.

    Errol Flynn was meant to support Fredric March but proved so popular when Captain Blood was released he was instead given the lead in The Charge of the Light Brigade.

    Billy Mauch plays the young Anthony Adverse in the earlier scenes. Warner Bros.discovered Mauch had a twin, Bobby and put them both under contract. They were given a starring vehicle in The Prince and the Pauper.


    The film holds a 13% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the lowest score of any Best Picture Oscar-nominated film on the website. However, Rotten Tomatoes only lists 8 reviews, so the score may not reflect a larger sample of critics.

    In his review in The New York Times, Frank S. Nugent described the film as "a bulky, rambling and indecisive photoplay which has not merely taken liberties with the letter of the original but with its spirit . . . For all its sprawling length, [the novel] was cohesive and well rounded. Most of its picaresque quality has been lost in the screen version; its philosophy is vague, its characterization blurred and its story so loosely knit and episodic that its telling seems interminable." Variety described it as "a bit choppy" and "a bit long-winded", but called Fredric March "an ace choice, playing the role to the hilt."

    Film Daily wrote that it "easily ranks among the leading pictures of the talking screen" and called the acting "flawless". "I don't think Mr. March has done any better piece of work than this", wrote John Mosher in a positive review for The New Yorker.

    The film was named one of the National Board of Review's Top Ten pictures of the year and ranked eighth in the Film Daily annual critics' poll.

    Rev. Austin Spencer noted that "In the book as written and published, Anthony Adverse's far-ranging life was clearly intended to be a spiritual journey at least as much as a physical one. Befitting with his name, he goes through great adversity, to emerge a better man - renouncing material possessions in general and the owning of slaves in particular, and aspiring with increasing success to emulate the saintly, martyred Brother François. In the film, all this was chopped off and amputated by cutting off the book's plotline in the middle. The film's Anthony Adverse is in effect denied the spiritual redemption which his literary creator intended for him. Possibly this was simply due to the fact that a normal length film could not accommodate so many adventures and changes of fortune over three continents. But I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the film-makers considered 'too much Christianity' as endangering a film's box office success. Anyway, I strongly recommend to anyone seeing the film to also read the book and find for themselves what they missed."

    The noteworthy film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film a positive review of 3.5/4 stars and praised the movie's "rousing musical score".

    Academy Awards

  • Actress in a Supporting Role: Gale Sondergaard
  • Best Cinematography: Gaetano Gaudio
  • Best Film Editing: Ralph Dawson
  • Best Music (Scoring): Warner Bros. Studio Music Department, Leo Forbstein, head of department (Score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
  • Nominations
  • Outstanding Production: Warner Bros.
  • Best Assistant Director: William Cannon
  • Best Art Direction: Anton Grot
  • In culture

    The initial theme of the second movement of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's violin concerto was drawn from the music he composed for this film. English singer Julia Gilbert adopted the name of the film's main character when recording for the London-based él record label in the late 1980s.

    Screen legend Tony Curtis (1925–2010), who was born Bernard Schwartz, named himself for the titular character; the novel from which this film was adapted was the actor's favorite. Curtis, who soared to fame with his role in Houdini as the legendary illusionist, was buried with a Stetson hat, an Armani scarf, driving gloves, an iPhone and a copy of his favorite novel, Anthony Adverse.

    Jack Benny parodied Anthony Adverse on the October 11 and 18 episodes of his "Jell-o Show" in 1936.

    In the 1934 short comedy What, No Men!, when their plane lands in "Indian Country" and Gus (El Brendel) is told to throw out the anchor, he tosses out a rope attached to a huge book titled Anthony Adverse.

    The novel Anthony Adverse, by Hervey Allan, was included in Life Magazine's list of the 100 outstanding books of 1924-1944.

    Anthony adverse 1936 gale sondergaard opera scene


    Anthony Adverse Wikipedia
    Anthony Adverse IMDbAnthony Adverse Rotten TomatoesAnthony Adverse

    Similar Topics