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The Return of Peter Grimm

The Return of Peter Grimm title card

Year - 1935
Studio - Radio Pictures
Stars - Lionel Barrymore, Helen Mack, Edward Ellis, Donald Meek, George Breakston, Allen Vincent, James Bush
Director - George Nichols Jr., Victor Schertzinger (uncredited)
Writing Credits - David Belasco (from the play written by), Francis Edward Faragoh (screen play)


Peter Grimm, a successful owner of a flower growing business, has a weak heart and wants to assure for the well-being of his family and close friends when he dies. He especially wants his foster daughter, Catherine (Helen Mack) to marry his nephew, Frederick (Allen Vincent) to whom he plans to will all of his property. Although Catherine loves James (James Bush) an employee of Grimm's, she reluctantly agrees to his wishes. Grimm's best friend, Dr. Macphearson (Edward Ellis), who looks after both Grimm and his sickly young nephew, William (George Breakston), urges the stubborn old man to be more reasonable.

The Return of Peter Grimm Poster

After making some entries to his will in the family bible, Grimm dies. Dr. Macphearson tries to convince Catherine that she should marry the man she truly loves. Soon, Peter Grimm's ghost enters the home and sees Frederick announcing his plans to sell the property to a hated rival of Grimm.

Catherine learns of Frederick's plans and, at the urging of Dr. Macphearson, tells Frederick that she will marry James, not him. Frederick threatens that he will simply send her away and go ahead with his plans to sell Grimm's property. But Grimm's ghost is able to summon the energy to compel Dr. Macphearson to open the bible where he finds Grimm's specific instructions: that the property will be left to "Catherine's husband", whoever that is.

Grimm's final ghostly act is to visit the dying boy, William, who joins Peter Grimm as they return to heaven.

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Victor Shertzinger had previously directed a 1926 version of The Return of Peter Grimm, starring Janet Gaynor.

The Return of Peter Grimm was suggested for this site by Karine Philippot.