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Another Dawn (1937 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Another Dawn
Directed byWilliam Dieterle
Screenplay byLaird Doyle
Based onCaesar's Wife
by W. Somerset Maugham
Produced byHarry Joe Brown
Jack L. Warner
Hal B. Wallis
CinematographyTony Gaudio
Edited byRalph Dawson
Music byErich Wolfgang Korngold
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • June 18, 1937 (1937-06-18)[1]
Running time
73 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,045,000[3][2]

Another Dawn (also known as Caesar's Wife) is a 1937 American melodrama film directed by William Dieterle and starring Errol Flynn, Kay Francis and Ian Hunter. It is based on Somerset Maugham's 1919 play Caesar's Wife. It was produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film received dismissive reviews.[4]

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Colonel John Wister (Ian Hunter) is in charge of a post in the British desert colony of Dickit. While on leave in England he meets and falls in love with the beautiful American Julia Ashton (Kay Francis), whose aviator fiancé disappeared in his plane and presumably died. Although Julia does not love John, she likes him and agrees to his marriage proposal.

John takes Julia to Dickit, where she meets John's best friend, Captain Denny Roark (Errol Flynn), and Denny's sister, Grace (Frieda Inescort), who is secretly in love with John. Denny reminds Julia of her dead fiancé and the two of them fall in love. John discovers this; although he would give her a divorce, he knows that she is too decent to leave him.

A subplot involves Private Wilkins, guilty of cowardice, given a second chance by the Colonel and abused by the other enlisted men, who present him with a box full of white feathers. On an expedition led by Roark, Wilkins “picks up his white feathers” and dies defending his comrades.

An uprising by local Arabs means that one of the soldiers must fly a suicidal bombing mission. Denny volunteers, but as he is saying good bye to Julia, John takes off instead, sacrificing his life so that his best friend and wife can be together.




Somerset Maugham's play Caesar's Wife was first performed in 1919, starring C. Aubrey Smith. It concerned Sir Arthur Little, a British consulate agent in Cairo, who married a 19-year-old wife, Violet. Violet likes Little but falls in love with his private secretary, Ronald Perry.[5] The play was filmed in 1928 as Infatuation, starring Corinne Griffith.[6]

Warners bought the rights to Caesar's Wife in late 1935.[7] Errol Flynn had just impressed the studio with his performance in Captain Blood, and he was announced as the male lead of Caesar's Wife in February 1936.[8]

In March, it was announced Flynn and Bette Davis would co-star in Another Dawn and that the film would be set in Iraq, with Laird Doyle, who had written Dangerous, doing the script.[9] Doyle would receive an original story credit for the film, with no attribution being given to Maugham, although the film also dealt with a love triangle between two friends and the wife of one of them in a colonial outpost.

Ian Hunter later joined as the third star.[10] In June, Warners announced that the film would be one of their "special productions" for the following year.[11]

Flynn insisted that Warner Bros give him three months off after the production so he could travel to Borneo and take footage for a film based on a story of his own, The White Rajah.[12]

Then Davis went on suspension, forcing Warners to find other actors to take over her roles. Tallulah Bankhead was announced for Another Dawn but The New York Times said this casting was "subject to change without notice."[13] Eventually Warners decided to give the role to Kay Francis; William Dieterle was to direct.[14]

"I don't do much in it," said Francis. "Things just happen about me. I am just a wife who has been unfortunate in love, as usual."[15]


Filming of Another Dawn took place on the Warners backlot at Lasky Mesa, in Calabasas, California, with action sequences also shot in Yuma, Arizona. Flynn apparently wrecked his ankle while playing tennis during the making of the film and required hospitalization.[16] Francis also missed three days filming due to toxic poisoning.[17]

William Dieterle, in a memo to Hal Wallis dated July 21, 1938, claimed he did not want to make the film but did it as a favour to producer Hal Wallis.[18] Errol Flynn did not want to make the film either, and he did not like working for William Dieterle. He was also negotiating with Warner Bros. for a new contract and on one occasion refused to come out of his trailer.[19]

Filming began September 26, 1936, but Francis was exhausted after making back-to-back pictures, and it was showing up in the footage. Warners was interrupted when an exhausted Francis went in holiday in Europe in November 1936.[20] It resumed and was completed in February 1937.[3]

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was so pleased with his theme music for this production that he used it in the first movement of the Violin Concerto he wrote some years later.[21]


According to Warner Bros records, Another Dawn earned $572,000 domestically (in the US and Canada) and $473,000 overseas.[3][2]

Generally, critical reviews were dismissive, saying that the film was mainly notable for its "haunting score" rather than its actors or story.[22]

In her September 1, 1937, review for Macleans, Ann Ross observed that the film is “an oid-fashioned problem drama, presenting Kay Francis in the usual set of mournful predicaments, the usual outfit of wonderful clothes. She… marries Colonel John Wister (Ian Hunter), assuring him that “every woman who is honest with herself knows that she can only love once.” She goes with him to a desert outpost where she meets Captain Denny Roark (Errol Flynn), and recognizes at once that every woman who is honest with herself knows that it’s possible to make a mistake. Things intensify rapidly, what with stifled passion, fighting Arabs and raging siroccos. In the end Colonel Wister flies away on a suicide mission, leaving the lovers facing another dawn. There’s nothing very new about Miss Francis’ latest picture except the star’s wardrobe. Even in the middle of an Arabian sandstorm, she’s still the screen’s best-dressed woman.”[23]


In 1939 Warners announced Flynn and Geraldine Fitzgerald would star in The Outpost, adapted from Caesar's Wife by Somerset Maugham and directed by Michael Curtiz.[24] Eventually announcements stated that Flynn had been replaced by Cary Grant. Warners was advertising the film as late as 1941, but apparently it was never made.[25]



  1. ^ Kear and Rossman 2006, p. 186.
  2. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 17 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  3. ^ a b c d "Another Dawn." Archived January 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Kay Francis Films. Retrieved: January 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Vagg, Stephen (November 10, 2019). "The Films of Errol Flynn: Part 2 The Golden Years". Filmink.
  5. ^ Maugham, W. Somerset. "Caesar's wife." Play Pictorial, 34.206, April 1919, pp. 66–79.
  6. ^ "Somerset Maugham comes to screen: Corinne Griffin stars in film version of 'Caesar's Wife'." The China Press[Shanghai], December 20, 1928, p. 7.
  7. ^ "Screen notes;" The New York Times, November 1, 1935, p. 25.
  8. ^ Schallert, Edwin. "His Majesty, Bunker Bean" announced as starring picture for John Beal: Actor returning to Hollywood April 1; Robert Taylor scheduled soon to portray Piccadilly Jim; Olivia de Havilland will appear opposite Flynn in feature.' Los Angeles Times, February 14, 1936, p. A23.
  9. ^ Schallert, Edwin. "Sigmund Romberg will prepare his operetta, "Princess Flavia," for screen: Picture may be for MacDonald and Eddy; Errol Flynn and Bette Davis slated to do "Another Dawn." Los Angeles Times, March 10, 1936, p. A19.
  10. ^ Schallert, Edwin. "Errol Flynn will again become pirate chieftain in "Sea Hawk" revival: Stalwart favorite faces lively season; Jack Oakie sought for re-impersonation of comedy character in "Street Girl'; Paramount gets 'Double or Nothing'." Los Angeles Times, May 25, 1936, p. 15.
  11. ^ "Warners to show 60 feature films, 1936–37; Productuon schedule announced at convention in progress her." The New York Times, June 5, 1936, p. 27.
  12. ^ "Flynn to film background of jungle cinema." Los Angeles Times, August 18, 1936, p. A14.
  13. ^ "Roles of Bette Davis being redistributed; Ann Harding's new play, 'Love From a Stranger'." The New York Times, July 20, 1936, p. 11.
  14. ^ Schallert, Edwin. "Metro pays $100,000 for film rights to unpublished book: Fannie Hurst's 'Great Laughter' to Be produced." Los Angeles Times, September 4, 1936, p. A19.
  15. ^ Shaffer, George. "Kay Francis stars in film of army life: Calls love scenes just part of day's work." Chicago Daily Tribune, October 20, 1936, p. 20.
  16. ^ Shaffee, George. "Mule is a mule even when he acts in movies: Convinces Flynn a sailor's happier than a soldier. Chicago Daily Tribune, November 10, 1936, p. 18.
  17. ^ Schallert, Edwin. "Jean Fontaine, sister of star, wins 'Quality Street' role; Charles Bickford to play villain for Paramount. Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1936, p. 15.
  18. ^ Behlmer 1987, p. 72.
  19. ^ Mateas, Lisa."Articles: ' Another Dawn'."[permanent dead link] Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: July 18, 2016.
  20. ^ "Fire sweels rooming house." Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1936, p. A1.
  21. ^ Thomas et al. 1969, p. 57.
  22. ^ Bret 2004, p. 52.
  23. ^ ROSS, ANN. "Shots and Angles | Maclean's | SEPTEMBER 1, 1937". Maclean's | The Complete Archive. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
  24. ^ Churchill, Douglas W. "Screen news Here." The New York Times, September 6, 1939, p. 32.
  25. ^ "Warner Bros. stories listed: Million dollars worth of plots on hand for films to be made in 1941." Los Angeles Times, January 3, 1941, p. 10.


  • Behlmer, Rudy, ed. Inside Warner Bros (1935-1951). Cambridge, Ontario, Canada: Fireside, 1987. ISBN 978-0-6716-3135-2.
  • Bret, David. Errol Flynn: Satan's Angel. London: Anova Books, 2004. ISBN 978-1-8610-5786-0.
  • Kear, Lynn and John Rossman.Kay Francis: A Passionate Life and Career. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. 2006. ISBN 978-0-7864-2366-8.
  • Thomas, Tony, Rudy Behlmer and Clifford McCarty. The Complete Films of Errol Flynn. New York: Citadel Press, 1969. ISBN 978-0-8065-0237-3.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 August 2023, at 00:56
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