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Jalna

(1935 b 78')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Mazo de la Roche's novel, a large family copes with the consequences of various marital choices.

At dinner Meg (Peggy Wood) is upset because Piers (Theodore Newton) is seeing Maurice's daughter Pheasant. Eden Whiteoaks (David Manners) announces that his poems were accepted, and he asks Renny Whiteoaks (Ian Hunter) to stake him so he can go to New York. Renny tells Meg she should have married Maurice twenty years ago. Piers insists that Pheasant (Molly Lamont) marry him. Eden goes to his publisher and meets Alayne (Kay Johnson). He tells her about his home at Jalna. Young Wakefield (Clifford Severn) welcomes the bride Alayne with flowers, and Eden introduces her to his family. Piers brings his bride Pheasant; but Meg is hurt, and Gran (Jessie Ralph) objects and hits Piers with her cane. Alayne defends Pheasant, and Renny says they can stay.

Alayne tells Eden that his latest sonnet is not as good. Alayne goes walking and meets Maurice (Nigel Bruce) and Renny. Eden asks Pheasant to go for a walk. Pheasant tells Alayne that it is not working out with Piers. Pheasant and Alayne sing with Maurice, and Renny joins them. Renny walks with Alayne and kisses her. She says she is falling in love with him and must leave with Eden. Alayne tells Eden they should go away. At Christmas Alayne gives Eden tickets to New York and says the publisher will hire them. They all sing "Ring Merrily Bells Ding Dong." Pheasant cries after Meg snubs her, and Alayne sees Eden kiss Pheasant. Pheasant, Alayne, and Maurice sing Christmas carols and are let in. Maurice follows Meg into her room, and they get drunk. During a family pillow fight Eden falls down the stairs and breaks his leg.

Pheasant visits Eden, and Renny and Alayne find it difficult. Piers tells Pheasant that Eden's leg is well, but he won't work. At a picnic Pheasant tells Eden that she will miss him. Renny takes Alayne for a ride. Finch (George Offerman) tells Piers that he saw Eden with Pheasant. Piers says he will kill them. Finch warns Eden and Pheasant and then stops Renny and Alayne. Eden writes a farewell note to Alayne. Piers approaches, and Eden falls off the cliff. Piers tells Renny and Alayne, who cries. Piers goes to Pheasant to take her home. Maurice calls him masterful. Gran celebrates her 100th birthday. Alayne says good-bye to Renny and agrees to send for him. Maurice tries to be masterful like Piers and take Meg home with him. Gran knows Eden is dead and tells Renny to go after Alayne.

This family drama explores various relationships that have gone awry. Meg is bitter because she did not marry Maurice, who has become an alcoholic. Renny loves Eden's wife, and Eden loves Piers' wife. The process of finding the right mate is sometimes complicated.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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