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The Animal Kingdom


This was the first film shown at the RKO Roxy Theater. An awkward love triangle is created when a publisher (Howard) encounters a moral speed bump and engages in an affair with an open-minded artist (Harding) while married to a stodgy suburbanite (Loy). Complicating matters is the tendency of the mistress to play the role of unassuming wife while inelegant and deceptive wife acts as the mistress.

The Animal Kingdom (also known as The Woman in His House in the UK) is a 1932 American comedy-drama film directed by Edward H. Griffith based upon a comedy of manners of the same name by Philip Barry.
The film starred Leslie Howard (actor), Ann Harding, Myrna Loy, William Gargan, Ilka Chase, and Neil Hamilton (actor). Howard, Gargan, and Chase also starred in the play when it opened on Broadway theatre on 12 January 1932.
In 1960, the film entered the List of films in the public domain in the United States due to the claimants failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.<></>

Plot summary

The film is based on a play, of the same name, set in 1930’s New York and Connecticut.
File:The Animal Kingdom (1932, Film).jpg, with Don Dillaway and Ann Harding in The Animal Kingdom (1932)}}}
Tom Collier, Leslie Howard (actor), is a book publisher who has been living in the city with his best friend and lover Daisy Sage, Ann Harding, without being married. His wealthy father, Rufus Collier, Henry Stephenson, wants him to live a respectable life. While Daisy is away for her job, Cecilia, Myrna Loy convinces Tom to marry her. Although, their lawyer and friend Owen Neil Hamilton (actor), is in love with her, he doesn’t have enough financial resources to maintain her interest.
Cecilia tries to get Tom to sell out without his realizing it. She talks him into publishing bad books that will make money and get rid of his old friends, including “Red”, his prize-fighter friend and butler. She wants Tom to sell his publishing company, live in the city with his father, as a "proper gentleman", and take their place in society, which Tom has been fighting all his life.
Daisy tries to stay away; but, she and Tom’s Bohemianism friends can’t believe he’s happy. She loves him deeply, and wants to have children with him but cares most about his well-being.
Tom complains that he's losing his soul and integrity. Finally, when Cee offers Tom champagne to toast selling his publishing company and moving in with his father, Tom realizes that Cee’s bedroom suite reminds him of a brothel he used to go, as he says, "in vino veritas".
When Red tells Tom he is going back to the city, that he can’t stomach anymore, Tom agrees, saying, he’s “going back to his wife,” Daisy.
As he leaves, he put a little something on the mantle for Cee, just as he used to, with the girls, in the bordello.

Differences from play

The text of the play, from 1932, is available from Gutenberg.
The play emphasizes the estrangement between Tom and his Father, who has never visited his son's house, before; and, that Owen, his one "respectable gentleman" friend, introduced Cee to Tom.

Cast (in credits order)

  • Ann Harding as Daisy Sage, illustrator and artist
  • Leslie Howard (actor) as Tom Collier
  • Myrna Loy as Mrs. Cecilia 'Cee' Thomas Collier
  • William Gargan as 'Red' Regan, Tom's Butler
  • Neil Hamilton (actor) as Owen, a lawyer
  • Ilka Chase as Grace - Cee's Friend
  • Henry Stephenson as Mr Rufus Collier
  • Leni Stengel as Franc Schmidt, Cellist, and Daisy's friend
  • Don Dillaway as Joe Fiske - One Of Tom's Authors


According to RKO records the film had a loss of $110,000 during its first year of release, in 1932-3.< name="rko"/>

Category:1932 films
Category:American films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:1930s comedy-drama films
Category:Films directed by Edward H. Griffith
David O. Selznick

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