Director: Frank Capra
Writers: Jo Swerling based on a story by Frank Capra
Producers: Harry Cohn
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck as Lulu, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy
Release Date: 15 January 1932
Synopsis: On an ocean voyage, a librarian falls for a married man.
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Barbara’s first film of 1932 was Forbidden, and her third with Frank Capra at Columbia.
It almost didn’t happen, after Warner’s agreed to pay her $50,000 a picture, she asked Columbia’s Harry Cohn to match that figure, he refused, and with an unusual show of temperament she refused to report for work. Cohn took her to court, although he won the suit he eventually agreed to meet her asking price.
Forbidden is pure soap, and with a plot rather similar to Back Street. Barbara plays a librarian who has an affair, and baby with a married politician, Adolphe Menjou. She gives up the child when he assures her that it will have a good home, and eventually marries newspaperman, Ralph Bellamy. Her husband find out about her early affair with Menjou who is now a District Attorney and threatens to discredit him. To save her former lover, she shoots her husband and goes to jail, she is reunited with Menjou on his deathbed, and it is a bittersweet ending.
Although only 25 years old, Barbara was totally convincing as the white haired old lady in the last scenes, and in fact looked very similar to how she looked in her last scene of The Thorn Birds, 50 years later.
Note: Ray’s Review features in this website courtesy of Ray Johnson, as published in britmovie.co.uk website’s forum legendary Barbara Stanwyck thread. Ray also manages the best forum on Barbara Stanwyck, Yahoo Groups’s Miss Barbara Stanwyck, click on the Forum menu item to be redirected.