Morning Glory (1933)

Morning Glory
Adolphe Menjou and Katharine Hepburn

'Morning Glory' is a dramatic film made in 1933, directed by Lowell Sherman and starring Katharine Hepburn, in her third movie, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Adolphe Menjou. The movie was an adaptation of the stage play of the same name by Zoe Atkins. Katherine Hepburn won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the movie.

This film was firmly in the tradition of other backstage dramas such as '42nd Street' which came out in the same year and 'Stage Door' in 1937


Eva Lovelace, played by Katharine Hepburn, is a young actress trying to hit the big time on the New York stage. She seems to be succeeding when her beauty attracts the interest of theater owner Joseph Sheridan. played by Douglas Fairbanks Jr.. Her big chance comes when another actress falls ill.

Will she make the big time or is she destined to fade out of sight like so many "morning glories"?


RKO bought the film rights to the play from author Zoƫ Akins, before it had been produced on stage..Eventually, in 1939, it had a limited stage run.

The director, Lowell Sherman, was allowed 7 days to rehearse with the actors before shooting began, and in return shot the movie in the remarkably short time of 18 days (April 21 - May 12, 1933). The film was unusual in that it was shot in the same sequence as the script.

Helen Ware, who played the small role of wardrobe woman , was a former silent movie star and indeed, herself a "morning glory".
Katharine Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. performed the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet" in costume, but it was not used in the picture.

The original RKO idea was to use their biggest attraction, Constance Bennett, in the starring role of Eva Lovelace. However, Katharine Hepburn had impressed the critics in her previous film, 'A Bill of Divorcement' in 1932, for which she narrowly missed a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Hepburn was eventually chosen in preference to the more popular Bennett, and it became the making of her career. She received $2,500 per week for her work on the picture,and it won for her her first Academy Award for Best Actress.

Main Cast

Katharine Hepburn ... Eva Lovelace
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Joseph Sheridan
Adolphe Menjou ... Louis Easton
Mary Duncan ... Rita Vernon
C. Aubrey Smith ... Robert Harley "Bob" Hedges
Don Alvarado ... Pepi Velez
Fredric Santley ... Will Seymour
Richard Carle ... Henry Lawrence, theater critic
Tyler Brooke ... Charley Van Duesen
Geneva Mitchell ... Gwendoline Hall
Helen Ware ... Nellie Navarre, dresser (wardrobe woman)


Director ... Lowell Sherman
Producer ... Pandro S. Berman
Screenplay ... Howard J. Green
Music ... Max Steiner
Cinematography ... Bert Glennon
Production and Distribution by ... RKO Pictures
Release date ... August 18, 1933
Running time ... 74 minutes

Academy Awards

One Win:
Best Actress ... Katharine Hepburn


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