6.6/10
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18 user 3 critic

Life Begins (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 10 September 1932 (USA)
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)
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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
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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

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Taglines:

Ten Million Women Lived and Loved to Make This Pictures (Print ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was banned in London. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Pretty Baby
(1916) (uncredited)
Music by Tony Jackson and Egbert Van Alstyne
Played during the opening credits
See more »

User Reviews

 
Pre-Code soap, nicely understated
9 January 2006 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

Sort of like a very primitive episode of "General Hospital" set in a natal ward (and one for tough cases at that), this fast-moving programmer has a satisfying emotional impact -- mainly because Eric Linden, as the distraught young husband in the main plot, is so palpably a wreck, and with such good reason. His expectant wife, Loretta Young, is brought to the ward at the beginning of a 20-year prison sentence for offing a lecher who probably had it coming to him; Ms. Young, as always, doesn't do anything to disinvite audience sympathy, and she's a little too good to be true, though sympathetic and lovely to look at, of course. Her difficult pregnancy and relationships with the other girls of the ward form the heart of the movie, and the outcome -- not an entirely happy one -- feels right. Aline MacMahon, "one of the cinema's few perfect actresses," in the apt words of film historian David Thomson, exudes warmth and authority as the head nurse, and Glenda Farrell, as a none-too-willing new mom of twins, gets to croon "Frankie and Johnny" as a drunken lullaby. Frank McHugh figures in another subplot, and he gets to show more range than Warners usually permitted him. It's scaled and paced modestly, and Linden's expectant-dad panic stays with you for days -- this sort of part was often played for laughs, but he's a terrified young kid in trouble, and very persuasive.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Give Me a Child See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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