Morning Glory (1933)

Morning Glory
Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. and Katharine Hepburn

'Morning Glory' is a dramatic movie about the stage, made in 1933, and starring Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. and Adolphe Menjou. The movie was a commercial and critical success and Katharine Hepburn won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.


Katharine Hepburn plays Eva Lovelace, a naive and star-struck young actress who dreams of becoming a Broadway star. She is helped by Robert Hedges , a veteran actor, played by C. Aubrey Smith and through him she meets a theatrical manager (Adolphe Menjou), and a young playwright (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.).

Eva's big break comes when the leading lady (Mary Duncan) of the current production walks out on opening night and Eva, is given the opportunity to take her place. She is a success and she determines never to let her career fade like a Morning Glory flower.


The movie was adapted from the stage play by Zoë Akins and the rights were bought by RKO before it was ever brought to the stage. It eventually had a limited theatrical run in Los Angeles in 1939. The script was originally written for Constance Bennett, at the time RKO's most popular RKO actress, but the young Katharine Hepburn managed to persuade producer Pandro S. Berman that she was ideal for the part and Bennett was given an alternative film, 'Bed of Roses' in the same year.

Zoë Akins had written the play with her friend Tallulah Bankhead In mind for the role of Eva Lovelace. Katharine Hepburn's appointment necessitated some re-writing and Hepburn herself claimed that her model for the role was popular actress, Ruth Gordon.

Director, Lowell Sherman promised a very short shooting schedule of just 18 days, in return for which he was allowed a week of rehearsal before the shooting began. The movie was duly shot in the specified time, between April 21 and 12 May, 1933. Unusually it was shot in the same sequence as the script.

Main Cast

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


Director ... Lowell Sherman
Producer ... Pandro S. Berman
Screenplay ... Howard J. Green
Based on ... a play by Zoe Akins
Music ... Max Steiner
Cinematography ... Bert Glennon
Distribution Company ... RKO
Format ... B & W
Release date ... August 18, 1933
Running time ... 74 minutes

Academy Awards

One Win:
Best Actress ... Katharine Hepburn
No Unsuccessful Nominations: