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Ann Vickers

Ann Vickers is a 1933 novel by Sinclair Lewis. It is also a 1933 drama film directed by John Cromwell, adapted by Jane Murfin from Lewis's novel, and starring Irene Dunne, Bruce Cabot, Walter Huston, and Conrad Nagel. The film was executive produced by Merian C. Cooper, who gave Bruce Cabot his breakout role in the blockbuster King Kong that same year. The estimated budget was US$303,000.


The novel follows the heroine, Ann Vickers, from tomboy school girl in the late 19th century American Midwest, through college, and into her forties. It charts her postgraduate suffragist phase in the early 20th century. As a suffragist, she is imprisoned, and her experiences there lead her to become interested in social work and prison reform. As a social worker in a settlement house in the First World War, she has her first sexual love affair, becomes pregnant, and has an abortion. Later, having become successful running a modern and progressive prison for women, she marries a dull man, more out of loneliness than love.

Mired in a rather loveless marriage, she falls in love with a controversial (and perhaps corrupt) judge. Flouting both usual middle-class convention as well as that of her progressive social circle in New York, she becomes pregnant by the judge, having a son.

Film version censorship

In the novel by Lewis, Ann Vickers is a birth control advocate and reformer who has an extramarital affair. The screenplay for the 1933 film was approved by the Production Code only when RKO Radio Pictures agreed to make Vickers an unmarried woman at the time of her affair, thus eliminating the issue of adultery.

Catholic Legion of Decency

The reaction of leading American Roman Catholics to the content in this film and The Sign of the Cross led to the formation in 1934 of the Catholic Legion of Decency, an organization dedicated to identifying and combating what it viewed as objectionable content in films, usually by threatening a boycott.[1]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Reviews of Ann Vickers

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