Now and Forever (1934 film)

Now and Forever is a 1934 American drama film directed by Henry Hathaway. The screenplay by Vincent Lawrence and Sylvia Thalberg was based on a story by Jack Kirkland and Melville Baker. The film stars Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard, and Shirley Temple in a story about a criminal going straight for his child's sake. Temple sang "The World Owes Me a Living". The film was critically well received. Temple adored Cooper who nicknamed her 'Wigglebritches' (Windeler 140). This is the only film in which Lombard and Temple appeared together.

Now and Forever
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Produced byLouis D. Lighton
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Jack Kirkland
  • Melville Baker
Music by
CinematographyHarry Fischbeck
Edited byEllsworth Hoagland
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 31, 1934 (1934-08-31) (USA)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States

Plot summary

A lazy and irresponsible Jerry Day (Gary Cooper), desperate for quick cash, is willing to sell the custody rights of his 6-year-old daughter Penelope, nicknamed Penny, (Shirley Temple), whom he's never seen. Cooper's girlfriend Toni Carstairs (Carole Lombard) is shocked by this callousness and walks out on him, but when Cooper meets his daughter and has a change of heart, he reclaims the little girl. The next few scenes show what happens when an inexperienced father takes a newly found daughter into his care. The girl and dad are seen on roller coasters and other fantastic fun-filled rides. The next thing you know the doctor is standing over Penny with a thermometer and telling Jerry that it is nothing that a bit of castor oil won't cure. After the awful faces and the shaking of her head Penny succumbs to the castor oil. Of course she receives a brand new teddy bear for her troubles. Penny and Jerry arrive after a trip abroad to be reunited with Toni, who will now play her mother. Jerry tries hard to re-enter the life of playing a flim-flam man to others. He even tries to swindle a man who is much more versed in the art of taking other people's money. The man gives him a check for two thousand dollars but it is as worthless as the paper it is written on. After a couple of attempts at taking others Jerry resorts to re-entering the work force. He tries his hand at real estate but is not very successful at it. Pretty soon he finds himself in need of cash to support himself, Penny and Toni. Still, Cooper can't hold down a job. The gentleman who gave Jerry the phoney check is spotted by Jerry as he takes a diamond while they are out together. This guy is really good and convinces Jerry to steal a very valuable necklace from a lady that Penny has made friends with. The lady offers to throw a party for Penny as a sort of introduction to see if Penny would like to live with her. While Penny and Jerry are at the party, Jerry sees that necklace out on the bed. He takes the necklace and puts it into the teddy bear that Penny brought with her. The lady discovers the necklace missing and calls the police. They have everyone searched but one person who is not searched is Penny. She is also given the teddy bear as she walks out. When Jerry gets home with Penny she goes to her room. There she discovers the stolen necklace. She asks Jerry if he took the necklace. He says he didn't. Penny starts to cry, and when she cries it is very difficult to get her to be quiet. Toni goes into her room and talks to Penny. She tells Penny that it was her that took the necklace so really Jerry was telling the truth. Penny is again satisfied that her so-called father didn't lie. Jerry takes the necklace to that man he met and the man will sell it and Jerry will get a large cut for stealing it. Jerry starts to feel guilty when Penny throws all her faith and love towards Jerry for being honest. he feels guilty and goes back to try to recover the necklace so he can return it. They struggle and Jerry shoots the man with a pistol he produced to show that he meant business, and he gets injured at the same time. He returns the necklace but is now injured during the struggle the night before. He knows he can't go to the doctor because of a gunshot wound. The last scenes we see are Jerry coming clean and allowing Penny to go away with the lady that owned the necklace. He will turn himself in. Penny, Toni and Jerry are seen at the dock hugging before Penny departs.



Temple was loaned out to Paramount by Fox Films for $3,500 a week in what would be her second movie at Paramount. It would also be the first movie in which a stand-in (Marilyn Granas) was hired for Temple. Temple had a good rapport with the adult crew, especially Gary Cooper, who bought her several toys and made a number of sketches for her. During the making of the movie, Dorothy Dell, who costarred with Temple in Little Miss Marker and developed a close personal friendship with her, died in an automobile accident. Temple was not told about this until filming was started on the crying scene in the movie in which her character finds out her father was lying to her about stealing the jewelry. The tears she was crying in that scene were in effect real tears.[1]


The film was popular at the box office.[2]

The New York Times thought the film "a sentimental melodrama" and "a pleasant enough entertainment." Temple was highly praised for her performance.[3]

Temple sang "The World Owes Me a Living",[4] a version of which also featured in a Silly Symphonies animation of The Ant and the Grasshopper[5] in the same year. Louella Parsons was amazed "at the ease with which [Temple] reels off her lines, saying big words and expressions. There is nothing parrot-like about Shirley. She knows what she is talking about." Temple-fever spread with the release of the film. Her fan mail (which numbered 400500 letters a day) was delivered in huge mail sacks to the studio and a secretary was hired to manage it (Edwards 66).

See also


  1. Shirley Temple Black, "Child Star: An Autobiography" (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1988), 60-65.
  2. Churchill, Douglas W. The Year in Hollywood: 1934 May Be Remembered as the Beginning of the Sweetness-and-Light Era (gate locked); New York Times [New York, N.Y] 30 Dec 1934: X5. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  3. Sennwald, Andre (1934-10-13), The Paramount Presents Little Miss Temple in 'Now and Forever', The New York Times, retrieved 2013-12-16
  4. Available on Video on YouTube
  5. Available on Video on YouTube
  • Edwards, Anne (1988), Shirley Temple: American Princess, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
  • Windeler, Robert (1992) [1978], The Films of Shirley Temple, New York: Carol Publishing Group, ISBN 0-8065-0725-X
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