Ah, Wilderness! (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ah, Wilderness! (1935)





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Playwright Eugene O'Neill's only comedy, Ah, Wilderness! was filmed by MGM in 1935. Impressionable turn-of-the-century lad Eric Linden, whose knowledge of the ways of the world has come from French novels, is anxious to taste life to the fullest. Linden's father Lionel Barrymore sternly advises the boy to be good and be careful, while Barrymore's shiftless, bibulous brother-in-law Wallace Beery (replacing MGM's first choice, W.C. Fields) encourages Linden to get out, get drunk and get...you know what. After a frightening encounter with lady of the evening Helen Flint (a surprisingly frank characterization for a Production Code film), Linden runs home, nursing a monster hangover the next day. The boy eventually accepts the sedate affections of his childhood sweetheart Jean Parker, while a chastened Beery promises to mend his ways--and Barrymore decides to be more of a father and less of an autocrat to his son. Ah, Wilderness would be musicalized (and bowdlerized) by MGM as the 1947 film Summer Holiday.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 18, 1992


Wallace Beery
as Sidney "Sid" Miller
Mickey Rooney
as Tommy Miller
Lionel Barrymore
as Nat Miller
Aline MacMahon
as Lily Davis
Eric Linden
as Richard Miller
Cecilia Parker
as Muriel McComber
Spring Byington
as Essie Miller
Charles Grapewin
as Mr. McComber
Charley Grapewin
as Mr. McComber
Frank Albertson
as Arthur Miller
Eddie Nugent
as Wint Selby
Bonita Granville
as Mildred Miller
Helen Freeman
as Miss Hawley
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ah, Wilderness!

Critic Reviews for Ah, Wilderness!

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 25, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This classic coming of age tale, based on Eugene's O'Neil's serio comedy, is charming and extremely well acted.

Full Review… | January 9, 2013

Audience Reviews for Ah, Wilderness!


Great cast. W.C. Fields was the first choice to play the Wallace Beery role, but Beery does an excellent job. Lionel Barrymore is good as well, Aline MacMahon is always wonderful. Spring Byington and a very young Mickey Rooney provide able support. The story is based on Eugene O?Neill?s only comedy, and it is a good tale. The characters are well defined, Clarence Brown ably directs. As always, the MGM production is excellent. Very good art direction, costume design and cinematography.

James Higgins

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