The World Moves On

The World Moves On is a 1934 American drama film directed by John Ford and starring Madeleine Carroll and Franchot Tone. It is notable for being the first Hollywood code approved film.[2]

The World Moves On
1934 theatrical poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Produced byWinfield R. Sheehan
Written byReginald Berkeley
StarringMadeleine Carroll
Franchot Tone
CinematographyGeorge Schneiderman
Edited byPaul Weatherwax
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • June 28, 1934 (1934-06-28)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States


The story opens 185 years ago when two families, cotton merchants in England and America, with branches in France and Prussia swear to stand by each other in a belief that a great business firmly established in four countries will be able to withstand even such another calamity as the Napoleonic Wars from which Europe is slowly recovering. Then many years later, along comes World War I and the years that follow, to test the businesses.


Production notes

Most of the World War I battle footage was taken from the 1932 French film Wooden Crosses.[3]

This film was the first to receive an MPPDA (now, the MPAA) certificate under the new Production Code, and received MPAA certificate #1.[2]


Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times called it "an ambitious undertaking, well composed and photographed, but it does seem as though the film would be all the better if it were shortened."[4] Variety said it was "an impressive picture", although the first half-hour was "undeniably slow."[3] "Impressive in magnitude and well cast", reported Film Daily.[5] John Mosher of The New Yorker panned it as "a completely synthetic affair" that was "padded out to the limit".[6] The Chicago Tribune called it "a moving tale" and "well worth your time", with "but one fault – extreme length."[7]

The film was not a success at the box office.[8]


John Ford won the Special Recommendation award at the 1934 Venice Film Festival for this film.


  1. "The World Moves On (1934)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  2. "Filmnumbers". Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  3. "World Moves On". Variety. New York: Variety, Inc.: 26 July 3, 1934.
  4. Hall, Mordaunt (June 30, 1934). "The World Moves On". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  5. "Reviews of the New Features". Film Daily. New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc. June 30, 1934. p. 4.
  6. Mosher, John C. (July 7, 1934). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker: 64.
  7. Nangle, Anna (August 13, 1934). "'World Moves On' is Century of One Family". Chicago Daily Tribune: 17.
  8. 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 December 30, 1934: X5. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
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