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Evelyn Prentice

Evelyn Prentice
theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam K. Howard
Written byLenore J. Coffee
Howard Emmett Rogers (adaptation)
Based onEvelyn Prentice
1933 novel
by W. E. Woodward
Produced byJohn W. Considine Jr.
StarringWilliam Powell
Myrna Loy
CinematographyCharles G. Clarke
Edited byFrank E. Hull
Music byOscar Radin
R. H. Bassett (uncredited)
Distributed byMetro Goldwyn Mayer
Release date
  • November 9, 1934 (1934-11-09) (U.S.)
Running time
78-80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$498,000 (est.)[1]
Box office$1,166,000 (worldwide est.)[1]

Evelyn Prentice is a 1934 American crime drama film starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and featuring Una Merkel and Rosalind Russell in her film debut. The movie was based on the 1933 novel of the same name by W. E. Woodward. Filmed between the original Thin Man and the first of its sequels, William Powell and Myrna Loy are re-teamed as another husband-and-wife team knee deep in a murder mystery.[2]


John Prentice is a brilliant lawyer who neglects his wife. The action starts when John is unable to go to a dinner party because of work. Evelyn, his wife, and her guests end up at a night club where Lawrence Kennard, a poet and gigolo, tries to strike up a conversation but is rebuffed. Lawrence sends her some of his books and she begins a flirtation with him. In the meantime, her husband obtains an acquittal for a Nancy Harrison. When John has to go to Boston for business, Nancy follows and tries to seduce him. A watch is sent to Evelyn stating it was left on the train in Mr. Prentices' drawing room leading Evelyn to believe her husband has been unfaithful.

She began the relationship but breaks it off when she realizes she is still in love with her husband. Lawrence attempts to blackmail her with letters she wrote. A shot is fired. Meanwhile, Amy, a friend of Evelyn's, shows John the watch. He corrects his ways by becoming more attentive. Judith Wilson, Lawrence's main paramour, is charged with the crime. Evelyn, along with their small daughter, convinces her husband to take on Wilson's defense. But, as the case progresses, she becomes more and more worried that Judith will be convicted. She decides she must go to court and confess. Despite her husband's efforts to prevent her, Evelyn blurts out that she apparently shot Kennard when they struggled over the gun. John manages to get Judith to confess to shooting Kennard, and to convince the jury it was self-defense. Once it is all over, John tells Evelyn all is forgiven and forgotten.[3]


Lobby card
Lobby card

Nicholas Brothers cabaret tap dance duo

Box office

The film grossed a total (domestic and foreign) of $1,166,000: $700,000 from the US and Canada and $466,000 elsewhere. It made a profit of $244,000.[1]

Television broadcast

This film was initially telecast in Los Angeles Thursday October 31, 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Philadelphia Wednesday February 19, 1959 on WFIL (Channel 6) and by San Francisco October 15, 1958 on KGO (Channel 7).


  1. ^ a b c Sedgwick, John (2000). Popular Filmgoing in 1930s Britain: A Choice of Pleasures. University of Exeter Press. ISBN 9780859896603. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  2. ^ "Evelyn Prentice (1934) - William K. Howard, William Howard | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie".
  3. ^ "Evelyn Prentice".
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Evelyn Prentice
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