Kings Row (1942) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kings Row (1942)

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Movie Info

In this dark drama, set shortly before WWII, two young men grow up to discover that their idyllic and wholesome Midwestern hometown has a seamy side rife with jealousy, pettiness, and horrific acts.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Home Video

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Cast

Ronald Reagan
as Drake McHugh
Ann Sheridan
as Randy Monoghan
Robert Cummings
as Parris Mitchell
Charles Coburn
as Dr. Henry Gordon
Betty Field
as Cassandra Tower
Claude Rains
as Dr. Alexander Tower
Judith Anderson
as Mrs. Harriet Gordon
Nancy Coleman
as Louise Gordon
Kaaren Verne
as Elise Sandor
Maria Ouspenskaya
as Mme. Von Eln
Harry Davenport
as Col. Skeffington
Ernest Cossart
as Pa Monoghan
Pat Moriarity
as Tom Monoghan
Ilka Gruning
as Ann the Maid
Minor Watson
as Sam Winters
Ludwig Stossel
as Dr. Berdoff
Ann E. Todd
as Randy, as a girl
Erwin Kalser
as Mr. Sandor
Egon Brecher
as Dr. Candell
Ann Todd
as Randy as a Child
Douglas Wheat
as Drake as a Child
Scotty Beckett
as Parris as a Child
Mary Thomas
as Cassandra as a Child
Joan Duval
as Louise as a Child
Danny Jackson
as Benny Singer
Henry Blair
as Willie
Dan Jackson
as Benny Singer
Leah Baird
as Aunt Mamie
Eden Gray
as Mrs. Tower
Julie Warren
as Poppy Ross
Mary Scott
as Ginny Ross
Bertha Powell
as Esther
Walter S. Baldwin
as Deputy Constable
Jack Mower
as Freight Conductor
Frank Mayo
as Conductor
Thomas W. Ross
as Patterson Lewes
Frank Milan
as Teller
Hank Mann
as Livery Stable Keeper
Fred Kelsey
as Bill Hockinson
Herbert Heywood
as Arnold Kelly
Emory Parnell
as Harley Davis
Douglas Croft
as Drake, as a boy
Ludwig Hardt
as Porter
Hattie Noel
as Gordon's Maid
Hermine Sterler
as Secretary
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Critic Reviews for Kings Row

All Critics (13)

The film that made the future President Reagan a movie star.

Full Review… | February 26, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sam Wood's Oscar-nominated small-town tale is one of the darkest melodramas Hollywood made in the 1940s, full of neurotic personalities and perverse secrets.

Full Review… | December 19, 2006
EmanuelLevy.Com

...while episodic and sentimental and filled with all kinds of unlikely turns of events, there is no denying the characters are endearing and the ending uplifting.

Full Review… | August 6, 2006
Movie Metropolis

A wonderful guilty pleasure potboiler enchanced by a magnificent Korngold score and fine acting from Ronald Reagan in the performance of his career. Only lead Robert Cummings is weak as Paris Mitchell; just imagine James Cagney in the role!

January 28, 2005
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Classic soap opera, maybe all time best; certainly Reagan's best

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Unpleasant soap opera, but well made.

June 16, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Kings Row

½

Warner Bros. dark, moody adaptation of the best-seller is exemplary drama and contains Ronald Reagan's best on-screen performance.

Michael Troudt
Michael Troudt

Reagan's leap to stardom through this? Well its okay. It's a bit too much like a soap opera but we have passable acting with neurotic folks throughout.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Based on a dark, soapy bestselling novel, this is definitely one of Ronald Reagan's best performances, if not THE best. Like "Peyton Place", the original novel focused on the dark secrets underlying an outwardly nice, moral, family-oriented town. Unfortunately, unlike "Peyton Place," the subject matter had to be way watered down to get past the censors at the time this was made, leaving one of the key storylines - a doctor's incestuous relationship with his daughter - so vague that the first time I saw this film prior to reading the book, I didn't understand what was going on with that subplot. The other weird thing about this movie is that Kings Row manages to have not one, but TWO messed-up doctors: one's the aforementioned incest committer (played by Claude Rains) and the other (played by Charles Coburn) is a sadist who enjoys amputating limbs and wreaking vengeance on patients he doesn't like. Reagan plays "Drake", a dashing rich party-boy who falls victim to the sadistic doc but then manages to have a decent life thanks to the tender mercies of his childhood friend "Randy" (Ann Sheridan), the girl literally from the wrong side of the tracks. I thought Reagan and Sheridan pretty much carried the film, with the other main part, their friend "Parris" (Robert Cummings) finishing a very distant third. As someone else noted, the amputation theme was timely due to WWII even though this book is set in an earlier era. A decent soap opera for its time, but not quite as good as the book due to all the controversial (for then) issues that had to be presented very obliquely or left out entirely.. 5 Stars

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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