Shock (July 20, 1934)
Released on July 20, 1934: A newlywed husband is shell-shocked during battle in World War One and loses all memory of his past life and his new wife.
Produced by William T. Lackey
Directed by Roy Pomeroy
Written by Madeleine Ruthven and Roy Pomeroy
The Actors: Ralph Forbes (Derek John Marbury, and Major John Drake), Gwenllian Gill (Lucy Neville), Monroe Owsley (Bob Hayworth), Reginald Sharland (Captain Sir Reginald Peabody), Douglas Walton (Gilroy Hayworth), Alex Cortney (Alan Neville), David Holt (Rickey Marbury), Billy Bevan (Meadows), Clyde Cook (Hawkins), Charles Coleman (Colonel), Colin Campbell (medical orderly), David Dunbar (Sergeant Matthews), Mary Forbes (Lady Heatherly), Harry Holden (clerk), Olaf Hytten (Adjutant), Margaret Seddon (housekeeper), C. Montague Shaw (Major), Eric Snowden (Cockney)
Heroes and Cowards, and Shell-Shock
Most of today’s movies contain great stories, action, adventure and characters, but the story usually covers a day, or at most a few days, in the lives of the characters, around one central event. But long ago, before there were movies, television, smart-phones, tablets and whatever we will use next to experience great stories . . . . There were books . . . Novels . . . Great stories printed on paper and bound with leather. We would curl up in a large, overstuffed armchair on a rainy day and read. . . . Read the words of great authors who could weave a story that usually covered many years, much like life unfolding day by day, year by year . . . Experiencing the lives of a few characters over many years. We would laugh with them, cry with them, worry with them, love the good guys and be angry at the bad guys.
This early motion picture war story is like the old printed novels, taking place over four years during World War One. We will meet three men and one lady in England. Bob and Gilroy are brothers who come from a long line of British soldiers, and Derek is their best friend. When Derek meets Bob’s girlfriend Lucy while he is on a leave from the horrors of World War One, they instantly fall into delirious love and get married . . . And Bob’s younger brother Gilroy is the best man. When Derek and Gilroy get back to the front lines of war and Bob discovers that his buddy Derek has married his girlfriend, he isn’t terribly happy. There are many more delicious details to the war scene and the relationship between Bob and Derek, but the important fact is that new husband Derek is shell-shocked by a bomb landing nearby and he loses his memory. We join him weeks later in hospital where he is given a new name because he has no memory of who he is.
Back home his wife has a little baby boy, and Bob, the fellow who wanted Lucy before she met and married Derek, is trying to get Lucy to forget about her missing-in-action husband and hook up with him again. Meanwhile the man with no memory enters the war again and before the war is over the man with no memory has become a decorated Major with many awards for bravery . . . The last of which is for helping pull a young fellow, who happens to be the brother of his wife Lucy, out of a crashing airplane. This leads to that and Major Drake, who is really Lucy’s long lost husband, visits Lucy to bring her the last possessions of her dead brother.
Although the horrors of war have turned her husband’s hair white and aged his apperance greatly, she instantly recognizes the man she fell deeply and everlastingly in love with. When she realizes that he has no memory of his past with her, she begins to befriend him and they fall in love. Unfortunately though, he has terrible guilt over loving another man’s wife while her missing-in-action husband cannot be found, and he is determined to leave England and Lucy and go to Canada to get away from the woman that he has learned to love . . . Not knowing or remembering that she was and is his only love. . . . His shell-shock loss of memory may doom them both to living the rest of their lives without each other. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Charles Coleman and Douglas Walton
David Jack Holt and Ralph Forbes
Gwenllian Gill and Mary Forbes
Gwenllian Gill and Monroe Owsley
Gwenllian Gill and Ralph Forbes
Ralph Forbes and Gwenllian Gill
Gwenllian Gill and Ralph Forbes
Reginald Sharland and Gwenllian Gill
Reginald Sharland and Ralph Forbes