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The Life of Vergie Winters (1934)

Passed | | Drama | 22 June 1934 (USA)
John Shadwell, a promising politician, is married to Laura but is in love with Vergie Winters, a milliner from his home town. As Shadwell's political career blooms, gossip and rumors begin ... See full summary »


Alfred Santell


Jane Murfin (screen play), Louis Bromfield (story)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Harding ... Vergie Winters
John Boles ... John Shadwell
Helen Vinson ... Laura Shadwell
Betty Furness ... Joan Shadwell
Frank Albertson ... Ranny Truesdale
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Hugo McQueen (as Creighton Chaney)
Sara Haden ... Winnie Belle
Molly O'Day ... Sadie
Ben Alexander ... Barry Preston
Donald Crisp ... Mike Davey
Maidel Turner ... Ella Heenan
Cecil Cunningham ... Pearl Turner
Wesley Barry ... Herbert Somerby
Edward Van Sloan ... Jim Winters
Josephine Whittell ... Madame Claire


John Shadwell, a promising politician, is married to Laura but is in love with Vergie Winters, a milliner from his home town. As Shadwell's political career blooms, gossip and rumors begin to cause Vergie to be shunned by the women of the town. Soon the two are constantly faced with the threat of exposure and scandal. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CAN A MAN EVER KNOW WHAT A WOMAN GOES THROUGH...FOR LOVE! (Print ad- Albany Times-Union, ((Albany, NY)) 7 July 1934)




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 June 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vergie Winters See more »


Box Office


$331,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Placed on the Catholic Church's "films to be boycotted" in a notice published in The Hollywood Reporter, July 25, 1934. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


John Shadwell: What if I do lose the election?
Vergie Winters: You won't.
John Shadwell: If winning means giving you up, it isn't worth it. I'll never let you go. As long as I live, I'll never let you get away from me. We belong to each other.
Vergie Winters: I'm giving you up because it means your whole future, John. People just don't sanction divorces.
John Shadwell: Must you cut your heart out for the privilege of serving them?
See more »


A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore A. Metz
Played at the election rally
See more »

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User Reviews

"Back Street"-type nonsense, but Ann's wonderful
1 September 2017 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

This was one of a forgotten genre that thrived through the 1930s, the weepie about an unmarried woman who loves a married man and stays faithful to him, sometimes having his child as well-- "Madame X," "Back Street," "Stella Dallas," "The Sin of Madelon Claudet," "The Strange Case of Clara Deane," on and on. This one, scripted by the reliable Jane Murfin, doesn't offer a lot of variation on a tried-and-true formula, but it does boast an important asset: Ann Harding, at the peak of her powers. As the milliner who loves John Boles, is deliberately separated from him by her father, and eventually is wrongly convicted for his murder, she's characteristically intelligent and appealing, with a stillness, a thoughtfulness that makes her more interesting than many actresses in similar roles. Some plot twists don't really work (Helen Vinson would NOT do that on her deathbed), and Alfred Santell's direction and the supporting cast are so-so--nice to see a young Betty Furness, though, and the always appealing Frank Albertson as her suitor. But Ann brings more genuine conviction to the title part than it deserves, and by the improbable kind-of-happy ending, I'll admit, I shed a tear or two for Vergie.

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