Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Return of Peter Grimm (1935)


The Return of Peter Grimm stars Lionel Barrymore as the title character. Peter Grimm is an old cranky man. The only thing he truly loves in life are his flowers which his family has been growing and selling for generations. Peter has a foster daughter named Catherine who has been living with him for several years. Peter is a tyrant he rules his home and the people around him with an iron fist. He has always planned on Catherine  marrying his nephew Fredrik. Catherine and Fredrik like each other but not enough for them to marry the other. Catherine is in love with James who works on the property.  
            Shortly after Fredrik arrives Peter dies of a bad heart. He returns as a spirit. The only living thing that can see him is the dog. Peter walks into the house to see Fredrik reading his will. Fredrik mentions money he wants the money that Peter left. Peter had left the money for Fredrik to give to charities not to use. Fredrik wants to sell the property.
            Now in spirit form Peter wants to try to right the wrongs he created during his life on earth. He sees that Catherine is in love with James and that Fredrik would be no good for her.

            The Return of Peter Grimm has a good story. I like the idea of someone coming as a ghost or spirit to help the living. The story could be seen as melodramatic but to me it was not too bad. Lionel Barrymore was excellent because he could play either a cranky old man or a really lovable man and be fantastic as both. The Return of Peter Grimm had been a stage production starring Janet Gaynor (which is where the poster for this post comes from). In certain scenes you can tell the story came from a stage play. The film is not one I highly recommend seeing but if TCM ever airs it again give it watch.