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The World Changes (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 25 November 1933 (USA)
An ambitious farmer becomes a pioneer in the meat packing business, finding financial success but private disappointment over the course of many decades.


Mervyn LeRoy


Edward Chodorov (screenplay), Sheridan Gibney (story "America Kneels")


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Muni ... Orin Nordholm Jr.
Aline MacMahon ... Anna Nordholm
Mary Astor ... Virginia 'Ginny' Clafflin Nordholm
Donald Cook ... Richard Nordholm
Jean Muir ... Selma Peterson II / Her Grandaughter Selma II
Guy Kibbee ... James Clafflin
Patricia Ellis ... Natalie Clinton Nordholm
Theodore Newton ... Paul Nordholm
Margaret Lindsay ... Jennifer Clinton Nordholm
Gordon Westcott ... John Nordholm
Alan Dinehart ... Ogden Jarrett
Henry O'Neill ... Orin Nordholm Sr.
Anna Q. Nilsson ... Mrs. Peterson
Arthur Hohl ... Mr. Patten
William Janney ... Orin Nordholm III


A three-generations saga over many decades in which Orin Nordholm Jr. (Paul Muni), an ambitious Dakota farm boy of immigrant parents moves to Chicago and into the meat-packing business where he makes a fortune by inventing the refrigerated-railway-freight car or ice-boxes-on-wheels but is unhappy in his marriage to Virginia Claffin (Mary Astor), a snobbish socialite who is willing to accept his money but not his method of making it. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Kneels See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The story begins in 1856, at which time Anna Nordholm (Alice MacMahon) appears to be at least 30 years old. By the time the story wraps up, in the early 1930s, this would put her well past 100, a bit of a stretch considering the life expectancy of that era. See more »


When Orin is telling his parents about his plans to pursue his business dreams, there is nothing on the table section next to where the dad is sitting. But on the following cut which is a closeup of his dad, there now appears a condiment rack next to the dad's left arm. When it goes back to a long shot of the table, the condiment rack that was next to the dad has now disappeared. See more »


Orin Nordholm Jr.: [addressing the banker, who's turned him down for an important business loan] If I only had a heart like yours, Patton...
Mr. Patten: Hmm?
Orin Nordholm Jr.: I'd use it to freeze meat with.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Title card: Dakota Territory 1856 See more »


I Love You Truly
Music by Carrie Jacobs Bond
Played when John arrives at Natalie's wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

"Never bring meat to this table again. Never bring ANY meat to this table! Never! Never! Never!"
7 August 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

After back-to-back powerhouse classics Scarface and I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, this was a big step down for Paul Muni. The story is about a ambitious young farm boy (Muni) who becomes a meat tycoon. He marries a snobbish socialite (Mary Astor) and raises spoiled children. Eventually it all comes crashing down for him.

Muni is solid and Astor pitch-perfect as the shrewish mentally unstable wife. There's an enjoyable cast backing them up, including Margaret Lindsay, Guy Kibbee, Jean Muir, and Aline MacMahon. Young Mickey Rooney has a small part. Decent melodrama that takes awhile to get off the ground. One of those "being rich ain't all it's cracked up to be" stories.

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