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Picture Brides (1934)

Four "Picture Brides", from New Orleans, arrive in the Brazilian jungle on a riverboat, brought there to marry workers at Lottagrasso, a remote mining site of the Standard Diamond ... See full summary »


Phil Rosen


Adele Buffington (adaptation), Will Ahern (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Mackaill ... Mame Smith
Regis Toomey ... Dave Hart
Dorothy Libaire ... Mary Lee
Alan Hale ... Von Luden
Will Ahern Will Ahern ... 'Brownie' Brown
Fred Malatesta ... Castro
Mary Kornman ... Mataeo Rogers
Esther Muir ... Flo Lane - Bleach-Blond Bride
Gladys Ahern Gladys Ahern ... Laoma
Mae Busch ... Gwen - British Bride
Harvey Clark Harvey Clark ... 'Doc' Rogers
Viva Tattersall ... Lena - European Bride
Al Hill ... Steve - Detective
Michael Visaroff ... Pete
Brooks Benedict ... Bill Town


Four "Picture Brides", from New Orleans, arrive in the Brazilian jungle on a riverboat, brought there to marry workers at Lottagrasso, a remote mining site of the Standard Diamond Mines.Also on the boat with the four "mail-order" brides (Americans Mame Smith, Flo Lane, and Gwen from England and Lena from Europe) is Mary Lee, a frightened and innocent girl, who has come to see the mine's brutal supervisor, Von Luden , about a job. Knowing von Luden's inhuman reputation, Mame transfers the photo assigning her to Dave Hart, to Mary's Identification card. Castro, the mail-runner, delivers a letter to von Luden informing him that Hart, his partner, is wanted in the United States on an embezzlement charge. Mame, in order to protect Mary, presents herself as a job applicant while Mary is introduced to Dave and his fellow supervisors (Pete, Joe and Bill) as a bride applicant. Dave rescues Mary from a lustful and brutish attack by von Luden. Pretty Mataeo Rogers, half-breed daughter of the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A tale of tropical lust!


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 April 1934 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

M.H. Hoffman Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The location is Brazil, but the natives speak Spanish, not Portuguese. See more »


Mame Smith: [entering Lottograsso] What a place! Maybe we booked for a circus instead of matrimony.
Gwen, British bride: My word! There isn't anything here but tattooed women and snake charmers!
Mame Smith: We're the snake charmers, baby, if you get what I mean.
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User Reviews

Amazingly adult.
13 November 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

IMDb lists this movie at 66 minutes, though the film I saw was only 58. I am not sure if IMDb is wrong or if perhaps the public domain copy on archive.org has been trimmed. I would not be surprised if it's the latter, as the film has some steamy moments and is clearly Pre-Code in style--so perhaps some of the juicy bits have been removed. This would have had to have been done if the film was re-released in the late 30s or 40s, as the film was too adult to comply with the new code.

The setting for "Picture Brides" is some hellish place in the tropics where a group of white scum treat the locals like garbage in their quest for diamonds. A group of white women are headed to the camp as picture brides for these men. One of them (Dorothy Libaire) has no idea what's in store for her, as the folks who organized these marriages lied to her to get her there. Once there, she finds the man she is supposed to marry, Von Luden (played with gusto by Alan Hale) is a brutal monster. Another woman in the group feels sorry for her and switches things so that the innocent woman will marry nice-guy Dave (Regis Toomey). However, Von Luden decides he wants this woman anyway and tries to rape her--and is rescued by Dave. As a result, Von Luden decides to destroy Dave, as he has a secret--he's a wanted man back in the States. It gets even crazier--and I'll let you see what happens next.

As you can tell with my description above, this is NOT a film you would have seen from Hollywood in 1935 or later. That's because the toughened Production Code went into effect in mid-1934 and topics like rape and violence towards women were pretty much forbidden. In some ways this code was good--some films were incredibly sleazy and had nudity and violence that might shock viewers even today. However, "Picture Brides" is somewhat tame compared to these films and worked better with all its salacious elements. In other words, it ain't pretty but it is entertaining! Despite a relatively low budget, this is a pretty good flick.

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