The Barretts of Wimpole Street - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Barretts of Wimpole Street Reviews

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Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ December 1, 2016
The love story between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett is legendary, and her 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' contains some of the beautiful love poetry ever written. They were both already established poets when they began corresponding, but she was an invalid, and had doubts and insecurities that he helped overcome with steady, persistent, genuine love. What I had forgotten about their story was how poorly her father behaved towards her and the rest of his children, and this movie really shows us that, in what appears to be a pretty accurate way.

Charles Laughton is brilliant as the overbearing, controlling, overprotective, borderline incestuous Mr. Barrett, father of 12, whose wife had passed away, and whose own frustrations in love had led him to forbid his children to marry. He's hard to watch at times, but certainly gives the best performance, and the movie is probably more about his inability to let his children go - indeed, he disinherited each one who married - than it is about the extraordinary love between Robert and Elizabeth, though Frederic March and Norma Shearer do have some tender scenes. I enjoyed watching it, but I suppose that's the reason I didn't give a higher rating. How much better would it have been had they incorporated even more of their relationship, and some of their letters and poetry. The movie would be remade 23 years later by the same director, Sidney Franklin, and would be a great choice to be remade (with script changes) again today.
April 28, 2016
The Barretts of Wimpole Street is an excellent film. It is about the poet, Elizabeth Barrett. Norma Shearer and Fredric March give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. Sidney Franklin did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and romance. The Barretts of Wimpole Street is a must see.
May 5, 2015
Couldn't get into this one, lots of melodrama.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2013
A bit on the melodramatic side but I think this was the time period that created the melodrama. Fredric March is seemingly in every film as the leading man and here he performs his duty and gets his maid.
June 6, 2012
good bio-pic/romance
August 3, 2011
Okay film starring Norma Shearer as a sick woman who falls in love with Fredric March but her strict father Charles Laughton forbids her (and all of his children) to fall in love with anyone. I'm sure people ate this film up back in 1934, but now, it's just got some nice costumes, sets, and some good acting (well, for the most part, Shearer's cousin is so extremely over the top, or should I say "ovew the top"). The story is kind of dull and it's pretty predictable. Oh well, at least I got around to finally seeing it.
July 26, 2011
Even people who liked this film said there were plenty of flaws.
½ November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

(1934) The Barretts of Wimpole Street
DRAMA

A very mature film about an overbearing father (Charles Laughton)and his 7 children who does his best to prevent any of them to have any relationships of their own especially if it comes to marriage! One in paritcular is the father's eldest daughter Da played wonderfully by Norma Shearer who stays mostly in her room because of a sickness! Two time Oscar winner Fredric March also stars as the successful poet who encourages Da to get on her feet and stand up to her father! Intelligent script leading to inteligent spoken dialogue by it's leading actors rates quite high on my list! Remade again in 1957!

3.5 out of 4
August 6, 2010
Clearly we are all familiar with the great love story of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, but I had no idea her father was such a crazy control freak. Charles Laughton is cold and close to evil. Great cast, and acting. Loved the story.
November 8, 2008
Interesting take. Charles Laughton is great as the twisted, and yet holier-than-thou father. Ugh!
November 2, 2008
great piece well acted
September 16, 2008
It was pure and enchanting. Norma Shearer as the poet Elizabeth Barrett was epic--she didn't play the role as an ill young woman, she played it that way Norma Shearer would, as a striving artist.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2008
want to see this because it was nominated for best picture at the oscars
June 14, 2008
I am annoyed that I want to rate and review the 1957 version and Flixster doesn't list it! Ugh!
May 2, 2008
Wow, I forgot about all the twisted sexual undertones in this film. It's creepy. Good creepy. Laughton is brilliant. He's always brilliant, but especially in this -- and Lord he plays a rightous perv of God beautifully. He gets under one's skin.
February 1, 2008
Charles Laughton is great love the scene where he wants Elizabeths dog but she has taken it with her.
January 17, 2008
Beautifully acted and beautifully directed. Norma Shearer sang a little in this film...not bad at all!
½ January 15, 2008
Norma Shearer is amazing.
January 4, 2008
more overdramatic fluff about some rich folks and their crazy families.
½ January 1, 2008
elizabeth barrett had one of the meanest father's ever.
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