|A Woman Rebels|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Sandrich|
|Produced by||Pandro S. Berman|
|Written by||Ernest Vajda|
|Based on||Portrait of a Rebel|
by Netta Syrett
|Music by||Roy Webb|
|Cinematography||Robert De Grasse|
|Edited by||Jane Loring|
|Distributed by||RKO Pictures|
A Woman Rebels is a 1936 American historical drama film adapted from the novel Portrait of a Rebel by Netta Syrett and starring Katharine Hepburn as Pamela Thistlewaite, who rebels against the social mores of Victorian England. The film was directed by Mark Sandrich; it was the film debut of Van Heflin, and the final film of David Manners.
Hepburn's performance as the defiant young woman is considered[by whom?] the epitome of her feminist characterizations of the 1930s.
In Victorian London, Pamela defies her autocratic father (Donald Crisp), and has a baby out of wedlock with her lover, Gerald Waring (Van Heflin, in his screen debut). Pamela's pregnant sister Flora (Elizabeth Allan) hears of the death of her young husband, faints, hurting herself, and dies. Pamela raises her illegitimate daughter as her niece and becomes a crusading journalist for women's rights. Eventually she agrees to marry diplomat Thomas Lane (Herbert Marshall) after being unfairly named as co-respondent in Waring's divorce.
- Katharine Hepburn as Pamela Thistlewaite
- Herbert Marshall as Thomas Lane
- Elizabeth Allan as Flora Anne Thistlewaite
- Donald Crisp as Judge Byron Thistlewaite
- Doris Dudley as Young Flora
- David Manners as Lieutenant Alan Craig Freeland
- Lucile Watson as Betty Bumble
- Van Heflin as Lord Gerald Waring Gaythorne
- Marilyn Knowlden as Flora (age 9)
- Connie Emerald as Lady Gaythorne
- Barnett Parker as Lady Gaythorne's Lawyer
- Leonard Carey as Lord Gaythorne's Butler
- Elspeth Dudgeon as Lord Gaythorne's Maid
- Eily Malyon as Miss Piper
- Doris Lloyd as Mrs. Seaton
- Molly Lamont as Young Mother
- Lillian Kemble-Cooper as Lady Rinlake
With a box office loss estimated at a hefty $222,000 for RKO, this was Hepburn's third flop in a row which contributed to Hepburn's growing reputation as "box office poison".
- Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p57