6.7/10
304
18 user 3 critic

Life Begins (1932)

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward ... See full summary »

Directors:

James Flood, Elliott Nugent (co-director)

Writers:

Mary M. Axelson (play) (as Mary McDougal Axelson), Earl Baldwin (screen adaptation)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mary Stevens (Kay Francis) and her old friend Don Andrews (Lyle Talbot) find themselves graduating from medical school at the same time. They decide to set up their respective medical ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Kay Francis, Lyle Talbot, Glenda Farrell
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Al Howard may be a star on Broadway, but he is no longer welcomed by any producer. It seems that he just trots off to Mexico any time he wants causing shows to close and producers to lose ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Glenda Farrell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two doctors pursue a nurse with a secret - she's married to an insane man. Will she allow one of them to operate on her husband to save his sanity?

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bebe Daniels, Lyle Talbot, John Halliday
Johnny Eager (1941)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a district attorney falls in love with a gangster who her father is trying to have imprisoned.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Mary, a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher. Her suitor Jimmy is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher's wife without ... See full summary »

Directors: Harry Beaumont, Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Ann Harding, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Murder mystery with a nurse (Lee Patrick) moving into a mansion after an apparent suicide to care for the old mother. The mother is kind of spooky, but so is the butler, and the girlfriend,... See full summary »

Director: Noel M. Smith
Stars: Lee Patrick, Regis Toomey, Julie Bishop
Hi, Nellie! (1934)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The managing editor for a newspaper, in hot water with his boss, is demoted to writing the "Nellie Nelson" heart throb column, where he gets the unexpected opportunity to crack a major story.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Ned Sparks
Smart Blonde (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Female reporter Torchy Blane teams with her cop boyfriend Lt. Steve McBride to solve the killing of an investor who just bought a popular local nightclub.

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Glenda Farrell, Barton MacLane, Wini Shaw
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Kent Carter is just a regular Joe who works at a movie studio and observes interesting behavior concerning actors. He uses the info to become a hard driven gossip reporter and bring down a star with a mean streak.

Director: William Clemens
Stars: Ross Alexander, Glenda Farrell, Anne Nagel
Fly Away Baby (1937)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Torchy Blane solves a murder and smuggling case during a round-the-world flight.

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Glenda Farrell, Barton MacLane, Gordon Oliver
College Humor (1933)
Action | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A college professor and the school's star football player are both rivals for the same beautiful coed.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Richard Arlen
Night Court (1932)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Judge and his mistress are investigated on suspicions of corruption.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Phillips Holmes, Walter Huston, Anita Page
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... Grace Sutton
Eric Linden ... Jed Sutton
Aline MacMahon ... Miss Bowers
Glenda Farrell ... Florette Darien
Clara Blandick ... Mrs. West
Preston Foster ... Dr. Brett
Frank McHugh ... Ringer Banks
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... Dr. Tubby
Hale Hamilton ... Dr. Cramm
Vivienne Osborne ... Mrs. McGilvary
Dorothy Peterson ... A Patient
Edit

Storyline

At a maternity hospital, future fathers pace the corridors while their wives wait for their babies either anxiously or happily. Efficient and compassionate nurse Miss Bowers keeps the ward running smoothly. Things liven up when Grace Sutton is transferred from the prison where she is being held for murder. Most agree that the man she killed deserved to die, and Nurse Bowers sympathetically allows Grace's concerned husband Jed unlimited time with his wife. On the ward, the women have varied feelings about motherhood. Mrs. West, mother of six children, thinks babies are what give meaning to women's lives. In contrast, Florette, a showgirl, just wants to get rid of her twins as soon as possible. Miss Layton has decided opinions about child rearing and has no intention of being a doting mother. While the women debate their various theories, a woman who wants a baby so much that she has become demented wanders in from another ward. An Italian woman quietly sobs when she learns that her ... Written by Daniel Williams

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is It a Masterpiece or Menace? (Print Ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dream of Life See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was banned in London. See more »

Connections

Version of A Child Is Born (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Frankie and Johnny
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Glenda Farrell, twice
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Wonderful performances make this precode stand out
5 March 2006 | by overseer-3See all my reviews

Life Begins - and ends - in a typical 1930's maternity / recovery ward, where we view 48 hours in the lives of several high risk pregnant women, played by Loretta Young, Glenda Farrell, Clara Blandick (Aunty Em???), Vivienne Osborne, Dorothy Tree, and Gloria Shea, as they await to give birth. While the film features plot devices which seem far fetched today when maternity wards are much more controlled and restricted, it does offer us a look back in time to see what giving birth in a typical city hospital in 1932 was like for our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I found the film fascinating and exceptionally moving.

Oddly enough, the most outstanding performance in this film comes from a male cast member, young Eric Linden as Jed Sutton, Grace's (Loretta Young) husband. What an actor! As a first time father, Jed is distraught and uneasy with hospital staff who seem to brush off his concerns about his wife as they might brush crumbs off a cafeteria table. I felt his every concern keenly. I'd like to see more of this actor's work. He had a very emotional voice, which was used to unforgettable effect in Gone With The Wind. In that film Eric played the young soldier whose leg was amputated without anesthesia, who screamed "Don't cut! Don't cut!" as Scarlett fled the hospital in horror. Chilling! Another great performance is from Aline MacMahon, who plays Miss Bowers, the nurse. Her character is a salt of the earth type, the kind of nurse we all hope to get for our hospital stays, who breaks the hospital rules constantly in order to show a more humane side of the medical profession.

Loretta Young did another superb acting job here as well, a very authentic and deeply felt performance as Grace. My, she is great in these precodes, I've really grown to appreciate her more as an actress the last few months.

Glenda Farrell played her role of a shrill unwed mother a little over the top for my taste (didn't anyone know back in 1932 that swigging brandy from a hot water bottle might be hazardous to unborn babies' health?) but her character redeems herself in the end.

Also in the cast was an uncredited Gilbert Roland, silent movie star, as a grieving Italian husband. His screen time was brief, but notable.

Life Begins is a must-see precode, try to catch it sometime on TCM, but remember to bring a few hankies to cry into. 9 out of 10.


23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed