Movie Mirrors Index

The Shining Hour

(1938 b 77')

En: 5 Ed: 5


Based on Keith Winter's play, a dancer marries a man she likes; but his sister objects, and his married brother falls in love with her too.

On a plane David Linden (Robert Young) learns his brother Henry is going to marry a dancer and goes to see Olivia Riley (Joan Crawford) dance. Olivia likes Henry Linden (Melvyn Douglas) and is not in love but agrees to marry him. At a party Roger (Allyn Joslyn) warns Olivia not to wed Henry lest she fall in love again. David objects to Henry marrying Olivia, who slaps him. Henry and Olivia wed.

By a lake David's wife Judy (Margaret Sullavan) welcomes Olivia and Henry. Olivia meets their sister Hannah Linden (Fay Bainter). Judy and Olivia talk about the Lindens. Henry tries to soften up hostile Hannah. David plays piano. While gardening, Olivia meets trumpeter Bennie (Frank Albertson). Hannah drives Henry to his plane for a trip. David tells Olivia he plays piano for her, and they go riding. Olivia talks of Henry, and David gets jealous. Hannah warns Judy to be jealous of Olivia. Hannah keeps insulting Olivia. Henry and Olivia are having a house built nearby. Henry asks David to fly Olivia to Milwaukee, but David declines. David asks Olivia if she feels as he does; she says she plans to stay married to Henry, who suspects that David is falling in love with Olivia. Judy asks Olivia why she married Henry without being in love. Olivia says she likes Henry. Judy admits that David is not in love with her.

At an outdoor party Hannah tells Olivia that she is a disturbing influence, and Olivia says she will be rude too. David dances with Olivia, who walks off alone and is joined by tipsy Bennie, who tries to embrace her; but she hits him. David makes Bennie leave and kisses Olivia. Inside David looks for Olivia but talks with Judy. Olivia tells Henry she wants to go away with him because of Hannah, and they announce it. Hannah tells Henry not to go, but he blames Hannah's hate. Olivia tells David that they are spoiled. Judy walks in and kisses David before he goes. Judy tells Olivia that two people may be made for each other. Judy tells Olivia to go away with David and get a divorce. They learn the new house is burning. Hannah smiles, and Henry says she set the fire. Judy runs into the burning house, and Olivia goes in and carries her out. Henry asks David about Olivia. David gets angry at Hannah. Olivia tells David that Judy freed her of him, and he doubts Judy will want him. David goes to recovering Judy, and Olivia tells Henry she is leaving alone and Hannah that she was right. Hannah tells Henry to make Olivia stay. Henry and Olivia decide to go on a trip.

The hostility of a spinster sister makes a difficult situation so much worse, and only after causing much suffering does she realize she was wrong to interfere.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index