Morning Glory (1933) Director: Lowell Sherman
“Youth has its hour of glory… but too often it’s only a morning glory, the flower that fades before the sun is very high.”
Morning Glory is an excellent film starring Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Adolphe Menjou. The whimsical score for the film was composed by the brilliant Max Steiner. The plot was derived from a then-yet-to-be-staged play of the same name by Zoe Akins.
It tells the story of the youthful and idealistic Eva Lovelace (played by Katharine Hepburn). She has left the small town of Franklin, Vermont, and has her heart set upon becoming a famous stage name in the big city, New York City. She flirts and forces her way into the acting business at the Easton Theatre. She comes across as eccentric and speaks too much, but her youth and innocence draws people to her. She attempts to be a student of Robert Hedges, a well-known British actress. Months pass, and she falls into financial straights. She runs into Hedges, who invites her to a party at Mr. Easton’s home where she gets drunk and makes a spectacle of herself, but delivers several Shakespearean monologues, from Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. She promptly falls asleep, and in shame the next morning, Mr. Easton takes advantage of her and ignores her for months until the Easton Theatre’s big production. The main actress, Rita, makes sudden and last minute demands for a large salary increase. Ultimately, Easton reluctantly agrees to replace Rita with Eva Lovelace. In the end she is a tremendous success, she and Easton make up with one another professionally, and she is left alone with an aging dresser, a former “morning glory” -a flower that fades just before the sun is high. Every year a new youthful beauty makes a hit on broadway. Eva rejects the man who loves her and instead chooses fame. The film ends as she chooses to be a morning glory shouting, “I’m not afraid” over and over.
“I’m not afraid! I’m not afraid of being a morning glory!”
The film is only Katharine’s third movie, garnering her an Academy Award for Best Actress, her first of four. It was an RKO production.