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Only Yesterday (1933)

Director John M. Stahl was a master of the “weepie,” with credits for the original screen versions of Back Street (1932) and Imitation of Life (1934). His ONLY YESTERDAY combines the plot of Stefan Zweig’s Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) with the title of a popular history book. Margaret Sullavan, in a memorable film debut, is a young innocent seduced and left pregnant by officer John Boles on the eve of America’s entry into World War I. When he comes back from the war and doesn’t recognize her, she vows to raise their son on her own. This is very much a pre-Code film, with Sullavan as an increasingly independent woman raising her child without stigma. It was withdrawn from circulation with the rise of Production Code enforcement and rarely seen afterwards. 

d. John M. Stahl, 105m, 35mm