MovieChat Forums > Christopher StrongĀ (1933) Discussion > Daughter Monica had some nerve!!

Daughter Monica had some nerve!!


I just so enjoyed this movie, seeing lovely young Kate H., but the characters drove me nuts! The title hero, Christopher, has a face that never changes sorry, Colin), you never know what he's feeling about, well, anything. And his daughter really had some balls, tearing around with another woman's husband, whom she ultimately steals, and then scolding Hepburn's character for hurting a woman's who's "an angel". Hmmm..... Billie Burk's character went from snippy and condescending to wistful and grateful. Blah! Kate's Lady Darrington (what an apropos name!)writes a letter about her pregnancy, then writes how it will never be seen---however, I never saw her tear it up. And then, as she realizes what she's doing by ripping off her oxygen mask (just before she gets "the bends"), she tries to put it on again, but can't. And plummets to her and her unborn child's death. I felt very sad at that point. The woman who could do anything, decides to just end it all. And then, we see the tiny paragraph below the big article about Lady Darrington's death, blithely telling that Lord and Lady Strong were headed for America. *sigh* (I thought Baby Darling wanted Mummsy to stay for her whole pregnancy?)

Anyway, I think they messed up, titling this movie the way they did, but it's a little late now. Like, 80 years too late.

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Yea. The way everything was handled is sooooo dated. It's always praised for it's 'modern themes' by 1930's Hollywood standards, but? the only 'theme' which holds up is the idea Lady Darrington is a 'good person'. Funny enough, her sacrifice of herself is part of this, which is silly. Not to mention the unborn inside her.

The reason it's titled "Christopher Strong"is undoubtedly tied to the concept "well meaning, married man, falls for well meaning single woman". The story is told by misogynist people to a misogynist audience.

Still, an early Hepburn classic.

Some weird 'synchronicity' regarding this film.

Of the three peripheral leads (Clive, Chandler and Burke), two are mostly remembered for their iconic horror film roles: Clive as Dr "Frankenstein", and Chandler as the virgin Mina in "Dracula".

One of the themes of Christopher Strong is Chandler becoming a 'woman'.

How is this handled? By depicting 'reckless abandon' in personal lives. Chandler portrays a heavy smoking promiscuous party girl at age '20'. In reality, Helen Chandler was a highly respected NY stage actress with big potential, some of it even realized already. But within 3-4 years of this films release, Chandler fell 'full on' to drink, and was gone from pictures. The booze killed her before she was 60, but not before a 'passing out drunk with a lit cigarette' fire took what little was left of her looks.

Clive was dead from booze within 3 years.

Another curious incident in the film? Did anyone else notice the speed at which the accident took place? 75 MPH!! And the drunk guy gets up from the motorcycle, dusts himself off, and goes back to party thankful for the ride!

I don't think I've ever seen a movie celebrate drunk driving so much!

So remember: in 1933, the more you drink and smoke, the more 'mature' you are. Driving drunk is cool, and stealing husbands is good for the young adults, but bad for parents!

Oh, and if a married man impregnates you girls? Do the right thing, and kill yourself. after all, he is a 'good man'.

OK, all that said? I loved the film. Not only well filmed, but all these long gone actors? They have their place and 'interest' for me.

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I felt pretty much the same way you did when I first saw the film, until I read the book (The Book was Sir Christopher's story. Hence the title of the film) Also take into consideration that Colin was barely 33 years old when shooting started... The stodgy, inhibited and needy CS (in order to have a 20 year old daughter) was probably in his early 50s. His marriage was probably an arranged one, to a "suitable" young woman of his own class...(or even higher) Remember that Sir Christopher was a friend of Lady Cynthia's Father, and that was how they met. It's also natural that Monica would 'lash out' at the person she felt was breaking up her family.

That being said, I agree with you, in that I feel that Billie Burke was the weak link. She was quite a bit older than Colin Clive, and it showed.

As to the ending, that was THE PRODUCTION CODE. Adultery could NOT be treated attractively, or with appealing characters. The "Other Woman" had to suffer, and either repent or die. If a baby was in the picture, it either died at birth or was farmed out somewhere.

Regarding Cynthia's Letter... I like to think that it was delivered to Chris's sister, Carrie Valentin. Carrie is played as a very worldly woman, who would understand her brother's fall from grace. She'd give Chris the letter, and see his reaction to a double loss...Cynthia AND her baby. Now THAT would be suffering that even Will Hays would approve of.








"I do hope he won't upset Henry.."

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The Production Code didn't go into effect until 1934.
CHRISTOPHER STRONG is a pre-Code film.

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