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Quality Street Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Previously filmed with Marion Davies in 1927, the lightweight James M. Barrie play Quality Street proved an ideal vehicle for Katharine Hepburn ten years later. The setting of the Barrie original was switched from 1805 Scotland to 1815 Regency England, to avoid a preponderance of brogues and to take advantage of the latter era's more attractive costumes. (Candid home movies taken on the set indicate that this sumptuous production might have been even more resplendent in Technicolor.) Because she's nearly 30 and still unwed, Phoebe Throssel (Hepburn) is regarded as an over-the-hill spinster. Thus, when offered the opportunity for a reunion with Captain Brown (Franchot Tone), whom she hasn't seen in years, Phoebe desperately wants to rekindle his affections. To this end, she poses as her own teenaged niece -- and pulls off the ruse beautifully. Alas, despite Katharine Hepburn's wonderful performance and George Stevens' sensitive direction, Quality Street posted a loss of 248,000 dollars, further convincing movie exhibitors that Hepburn was "box office poison." Notably, one of the supporting players is an 18-year-old Joan Fontaine, making her first appearance under her RKO Radio contract. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Roy Webb Best Score 1937 Nominee

Cast

Katharine Hepburn
as Phoebe Throssel
Franchot Tone
as Dr. Valentine Brown
Eric Blore
as Recruiting Sergeant
Fay Bainter
as Susan Throssel
Cora Witherspoon
as Patty the Maid
Estelle Winwood
as Mary Willoughby
Joan Fontaine
as Charlotte Parratt
Florence Lake
as Henrietta Turnbull
Bonita Granville
as Isabella
Clifford Severn
as Arthur
Sherwood Bailey
as William Smith
William Bakewell
as Lieutenant Spicer
Yorke Sherwood
as Postman
Helena Grant
as Fanny Willoughby
Carmencita Johnson
as Student
Sidney Toler

Crew

George Stevens
Director
Pandro S. Berman
Producer
Mortimer Offner
Screenwriter
Robert de Grasse
Cinematographer
Roy Webb
Composer (Music Score)
Van Nest Polglase
Art Director
Darrell Silvera
Set Designer
Walter Plunkett
Costume Designer
Mel Burns
Makeup
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