For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Daybreak (1931 film).

Daybreak (1931 film)

Daybreak (1931 film).jpg
Directed byJacques Feyder
Screenplay byCyril Hume
Ruth Cummings
Based onDaybreak
by Arthur Schnitzler
StarringRamon Novarro
Helen Chandler
Jean Hersholt
C. Aubrey Smith
William Bakewell
Karen Morley
CinematographyMerritt B. Gerstad
Edited byTom Held
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 2, 1931 (1931-05-02)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States

Daybreak is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Jacques Feyder and written by Cyril Hume and Ruth Cummings. The film stars Ramon Novarro, Helen Chandler, Jean Hersholt, C. Aubrey Smith, William Bakewell and Karen Morley. The film was released on May 2, 1931, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[1][2]


Willi is born into the cream of Vienna society rose in the rank of the elite Royal Imperial Guard to the point where he became a member of its officer corps. Always having friends and relatives in high places to clean up after him after he royally screwed things up Willi has no idea of what being responsible was. With Willi's uncle General Von Hertz, (C. Aubrey Smith), in charge of the military base that he's stationed at, he knew that whatever boners he pulled good old Uncle Hertz would take care of them. One thing Willi didn't expect to happen was to fall in love with someone else, besides himself, and accept the responsibility that goes along with that.

At a party with his officer friends at the Vienna night-spot "Madam Saguss" Willi spots the sweet and lovely young lady Laura Taub, (Helen Chandler), who's a music teacher. Later Willi sees Laura going upstairs to a room with big spender and notorious whore-mister Herr Schnabel, Jean Hersholt. Suspecting that Schnabel was up to no good Willi goes to see if everything is all right only to hear Laura screaming inside the hotel-room as she fights off Schnabel from trying to force himself on her. Willi puts an end to Herr Schnabel's advances by punching him out. Taking the grateful Laura, who at first didn't trust him, on a night on the town Willi spends the next morning at her apartment having breakfast.

After promising to see her again and kissing her good-by Willi innocently leaves a 100 Krone bank note on her dining room table. Helen, who fell in love with Willi, by seeing the note after Willi left now feels insulted by what he did in treating her as if she were just a one-night stand to him or even worse. With Helen letting Willi have it when he came to see her the next day, about what he did to her, left him both hurt and humiliated since he also fell in love with Helen. Willi's action, by leaving the money, was nothing more that a show of appreciation, not a fee for her spending the night with him, which didn't include anything more serious than two or three harmless smooches and getting her a bit tipsy on a couple of glasses of French wine.

Helen goes over the deep end by going back to the sleazy Herr Schnabel and becoming the kind of person that she thinks that Willi thought that she was with her drinking gambling and whoring around. Guilt-ridden by what he did to Helen in turning her into a party animal-type, from the sweet and innocent girl that she was, Willi tries to win her back from Schnabel. Challenging to go head to head with Schnabel in a no holds-bar game of Baccarat Willi feels that would win Helen back to him. In the big showdown Schnabel totally wipes out Willi leaving him 14,000 kroners in debt and a broken and destroyed young man. Being too proud to ask his uncle Gen. Von Hertz for the money and facing disgrace as a member of the Royal Imperial Guard Willi has only one option left open to him: a bullet to the head from his own service revolver.



  1. ^ "Daybreak (1931) - Overview". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "Daybreak". TV Guide. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Daybreak (1931 film)
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Wikiwand 2.0 is here 🎉! We've made some exciting updates - No worries, you can always revert later on