Kings Row
  • Kings Row
  • Kings Row

Kings Row

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Director: Sam Wood

Cast: Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Wilson Reagan


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A seemingly quiet Midwestern town is the hiding place for a number of sordid secrets in this melodrama based on Henry Bellamann's best-selling novel. Parris Mitchell (Scotty Beckett) is a young boy growing up in the town of King's Row, where he becomes close friends with Cassandra (Mary Thomas), a quiet girl who isn't popular with the other children. Parris is also… See more details below


A seemingly quiet Midwestern town is the hiding place for a number of sordid secrets in this melodrama based on Henry Bellamann's best-selling novel. Parris Mitchell (Scotty Beckett) is a young boy growing up in the town of King's Row, where he becomes close friends with Cassandra (Mary Thomas), a quiet girl who isn't popular with the other children. Parris is also friends with Louise (Joan Duvalle), a rich girl who looks down on others; Drake (Douglas Croft), a good-natured but self-centered type; and Randy (Ann Todd), a girl with a wild tomboy streak. It's a testimony to Parris' character when Cassandra and Louise both invite him to parties on the same day and he decides to go to Cassandra's, because he's not sure who else might be there for her. However, his friendship with her begins to fade after her father, local psychiatrist Dr. Tower (Claude Rains), decides to withdraw her from public school and tutor her at home instead. Years later, Parris (now played by Robert Cummings) is a promising medical student studying psychiatry with Dr. Tower, and while he's stayed in contact with Cassandra (now played by Betty Field), she remains at a curious emotional distance from those around her. Randy (now played by Ann Sheridan) romances Drake (now played by Ronald Reagan), who has inherited a fortune and is living the high life to the fullest. However, Drake is also involved with Louise (Nancy Coleman), who is not allowed much of a social life by her father, Dr. Gordon (Charles Coburn), and she fears that the more outgoing Randy will steal Drake away from her. When Parris decides to travel to Europe to further his studies, Cassandra asks if she can join him; he's not keen on the idea, but he considers it. He is then shocked to learn that Cassandra has been killed by her father after he learned that she was with child, shortly before taking his own life. Drake, meanwhile, loses his money through a series of unfortunate circumstances and is forced to take a job with the railroad; when he is injured at work, he's taken to Dr. Gordon for treatment. However, the doctor never approved of Drake's romance with Louise and was even more upset when he decided to leave her for Randy; in retaliation, Dr. Gordon amputates Drake's legs, even though his condition in no way justified it. Meanwhile, Parris comes back from Europe and makes the acquaintance of a local resident, Dr. Sandor (Erwin Kalser), while becoming infatuated with his daughter, Elise (Kaaren Verne). He also learns of Dr. Gordon's shocking mutilation of Drake, who is determined to somehow live a normal life despite it all, with Randy by his side. Kings Row was nominated for three Academy Awards (including Best Picture of 1943), and is generally conceded to feature the best performance of Ronald Reagan's Hollywood career; he titled his autobiography Where's the Rest of Me?, after the key line of his most memorable (and challenging) scene in the picture.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
This melodrama is often cited as a precursor to the 1957 soap opera Peyton Place, and it also influenced David Lynch's dark, surreal look at the corrupt underside of middle America in Blue Velvet (1986). Prior to the breakdown of Hollywood censorship codes in the 1960s, few films pushed the envelope as much as Kings Row. The performances are all strong, particularly Ronald Reagan's career-best work as the disabled playboy; Reagan would title his 1960s autobiography Where's the Rest of Me? after his key line in the film. Unlike in most of director Sam Wood's previous work, the stark visuals enhance the disturbing onscreen events. The disquieting ambience comes courtesy of cinematographer James Wong Howe and production designer William Cameron Menzies. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's orchestral score is among his best.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Vintage featurette The United States Marine Band; Classic cartoon Fox Pop; Theatrical trailer; Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ann Sheridan Randy Monoghan
Robert Cummings Parris Mitchell
Ronald Reagan Drake McHugh
Betty Field Cassandra Tower
Charles Coburn Dr. Henry Gordon
Claude Rains Dr. Alexander Tower
Judith Anderson Mrs. Harriet Gordon
Nancy Coleman Louise Gordon
Maria Ouspenskaya Madame Von Eln
Harry Davenport Col. Skeffington
Kaaren Verne Elise Sandor
Ernest Cossart Pa Monoghan
Scotty Beckett Parris, as a boy
Mary Thomas Cassandra, as a girl
Ann E. Todd Randy, as a girl
Pat Moriarity Tom Monoghan
Ilka Gruning Anna
Leah Baird Aunt Mamie
Walter S. Baldwin Deputy Constable
Henry Blair Willie
Ludwig Hardt Porter
Herbert Heywood Arnold Kelly
Dan Jackson Benny Singer
Fred Kelsey Bill Hockinson
Hank Mann Livery Stable Keeper
Frank Milan Teller
Jack Mower Freight Conductor
Hattie Noel Gordon's Maid
Emory Parnell Harley Davis
Thomas W. Ross Patterson Lewes
Mary Scott Ginny Ross
Hermine Sterler Secretary
Elizabeth Valentine Nurse
Minor Watson Sam Winters
Ludwig Stossel Prof. Berdoff
Erwin Kalser Mr. Sandor
Egon Brecher Dr. Candell
Douglas Croft Drake, as a boy
Frank Mayo Conductor

Technical Credits
Sam Wood Director
Robert Burks Special Effects
David Lewis Producer
Ralph Dawson Editor
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
Erich Wolfgang Korngold Score Composer
Robert B. Lee Sound/Sound Designer
William Cameron Menzies Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Casey Robinson Screenwriter
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Carl Jules Weyl Art Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Kings Row
1. Credits [1:57]
2. Parris' Choice [3:24]
3. Birthday Blues [4:14]
4. Pleasure and Pain [4:16]
5. Grown-up Pursuits [3:06]
6. Young Man's Education [5:49]
7. A Little Loneliness [3:03]
8. Rejected Suitor [2:39]
9. Stormy Emotions [5:56]
10. Madame Marie's Vow [2:14]
11. If I Had a Son [5:47]
12. Learning the Truth [2:28]
13. Don't Try to Understand Me [3:55]
14. Beyond His Help [1:32]
15. Tower Tragedy [5:12]
16. Why? [3:57]
17. Final Desperation [2:46]
18. Ride With Randy [2:55]
19. A Girl Like That [5:13]
20. Supper Invitation [3:03]
21. Wiped Out [2:54]
22. My Friends Are Down Here [3:11]
23. You're All There Is [3:02]
24. Drake's Accident [3:55]
25. "Where's the Rest of Me?" [1:48]
26. Her Mind's Made Up [4:29]
27. Fresh Start [3:14]
28. Reunion [1:37]
29. Mother's Dilemma [4:22]
30. Louise's Obsession [3:17]
31. Chasing Away Ghosts [2:37]
32. Back Home [5:54]
33. Places in Her Heart [3:48]
34. Terrible Truth [3:01]
35. Bloody but Unbowed [5:23]
36. Cast List [:38]

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