Cast & Crew
In a small English town in 1914, Dr. David Newcome meets Leni, an Austrian girl, after she is injured in a theater while dancing. When he returns to see her, Leni has gone. David encounters the girl once more after she attempts suicide, and he engages her as a governess for his son Gerald, a young boy with an overactive imagination and an unsympathetic and harsh mother. Gerald adores his new governess, but gossip and misunderstanding divide the household and Gerald's wife Jessica takes her son to live with his uncle until the governess leaves the house. When war hysteria breaks out, David, afraid for Leni's safety, arranges for her to leave the country. Meanwhile, returning home to retrieve his pocket knife, Gerald accidentally breaks a bottle of pills and puts the scattered tablets into another bottle. That night, Jessica takes the pills, believing them to be headache tablets, but they are actually poison and the next morning, she is found dead. David and Leni are arrested for her murder, and when David can give no explanation for the transfer of the pills, they are found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Destroyed by circumstantial evidence, the couple approach death knowing that they are not alone, but will be joined by the multitude of innocent young soldiers sacrificing their lives on the altar of war.
Douglas Scott Baker
E. E. Clive
Leo F. Forbstein
H. F. Koenekamp
C. A. Riggs
Dr. Leo Schulman
Jack L. Warner
Carl Jules Weyl
Strange how words can be true, and yet have no truth in them.- Dr. David Newcome
After one week of filming, Jane Bryan replaced Dolly Haas in the role of Leni, because Haas suffered a nervous collapse due to the "highly emotional nature of her role".
Paul Muni actually played the violin in the movie and was not dubbed.
According to pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. was concerned that the start of the war in Europe would prevent them from producing this film in England. The film was ultimately shot in Hollywood. Another pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that the film was conceived as a vehicle for Miriam Hopkins. According to other news items in Hollywood Reporter, the picture marked the screen debut of Stanley Logan, a dialogue director at Warner Bros., and the American screen debut of British actor Alan Napier. Spencer Hankey, the technical advisor for the British court scenes, was an attorney for the British Consul. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that Jane Bryan replaced Dolly Haas after one week of filming because Haas suffered a nervous collapse due to the "highly emotional nature of her role." According to the program notes for this film contained in the production files on the film at the AMPAS Library, Paul Muni actually played the violin in the film and Jane Bryan was coached by dancer and choreographer George Balanchine for her ballet sequences.